Wayfinding Signage Plan
The City is creating a plan to introduce wayfinding signage into downtown Puyallup. The Plan aims to create an intentional wayfinding system to help visitors and residents navigate downtown successfully. The project also seeks to connect destinations, such as the Fairgrounds, through signage together into downtown. This includes creating a plan for designing and installing gateway or monument signs at entries to downtown, directional signs and maps, and other wayfinding tools to make downtown more navigable.
The goals of the project are:
- Help people navigate through downtown and better connect downtown and the Fairgrounds.
- Develop a consistent and coordinated signage system.
- Implement street improvements, enhance key entries to downtown, and help develop and strengthen Puyallup’s unique identity.
- Explore opportunities for incorporating art features into the wayfinding system.
In addition to these goals, the project aims to identify opportunities to incorporate art features into the new wayfinding system.
Developing a Downtown Wayfinding Plan was one of the recommendations from the Meridian Streetscapes Project, completed in 2022. The City, in 2021, hired a consultant, MIG, to create a Plan for the downtown area that would identify new ways to enhance the character, aesthetic, and functionality of streets in the downtown core and along the Meridian corridor. At the end of the project, a prioritized list of ten projects was recommended; developing a Downtown Wayfinding Plan was one of the projects. To learn more about the Meridian Streetscapes Project, please visit our website page.
During the public outreach portion of the Meridian Streetscape Project, City staff asked the community and Council to rank the ten proposed projects based on preference and need. The Wayfinding Plan was one of the top-ranked projects. Knowing this project is a high priority for both the Council and the community, the City began working with its consultant, MIG, to create a Plan to guide the creation of new, better wayfinding signage downtown. Throughout 2023 and 2024, staff will work with the consultant to vet design concepts with an Interested Parties group and the City Council. Once approved, staff will seek funding sources to fabricate and install the wayfinding signage.
What is wayfinding?
Wayfinding is how we orient ourselves when we travel from place to place. Whether through a map, a phone app, or signage, a sound wayfinding system allows people to navigate successfully to their destination. It also provides a cohesive method for bringing a location’s brand, culture, history, or story to the forefront through color, materials, and graphics. Some common examples of wayfinding signage include gateway arches, vehicular directional signage, parking signs, and “You Are Here” orientation kiosks.
Why is the City doing this?
Currently, the City’s wayfinding system is limited, inconsistent, and hard to find and see while navigating downtown. Establishing a consistent, clear, and visible signage and wayfinding program can help create a cohesive streetscape environment and improve the overall experience for people visiting downtown. Making downtown easier to navigate and finding a place to park incentivizes visitors and creates a more aesthetic identity to the downtown area.
How much is this going to cost?
It is too early in the project to determine the costs of installing the new signage. Final costs for the actual signs will be contingent on the design concept plan. These costs can range between $300,000 to $500,000, depending on what is recommended. Additionally, streetscape improvements that would go with the sign installation could range between $300,000 to over $1 million, depending on the Plan’s recommendation. The City plans to seek grant funding for project implementation costs once they are more refined.
When is the City going to install these signs?
The City is in the early conceptual phase of this project and is scheduled to complete this phase in 2024. If approved, the City plans to seek grant funds for the design and construction of wayfinding signs in downtown. It is still very early to determine a construction schedule. However, it is anticipated that the signs could be installed in either 2025 or 2026, depending on funding and resource availability.
Where will the signs go?
The sign locations are still yet to be determined. Please check back here for more information. The project scope location is downtown Puyallup. Within the Plan will be specific locations recommended for signage installation.
How is this going to impact streets in downtown?
Part of the project scope includes identifying opportunities for street improvements to complement new wayfinding signage, particularly at gateways into downtown. This could include, for example, improvements such as ADA ramps, curb extensions, crosswalks, landscape planting, and other infrastructure that enhances the character of downtown.
Will this affect traffic and parking downtown?
A well-designed Wayfinding system allows drivers to find and access parking while minimizing traffic congestion. A goal of the Plan is to design the wayfinding signage so that drivers can easily find a place to park, walk downtown, and go to their destination. We hope that by doing this, residents and visitors can utilize our existing parking lots more often and also minimize traffic impacts to Meridian and other arterial roads downtown.
How can I get involved?
Throughout the project, the City will engage with the community through various outreach opportunities such as public surveys and meetings. Keep an eye on this page and our social media channels for updates.
Please check back here for public outreach announcements and how you can get involved with the project!