New Pedestrian Wayfinding Signs to Be Installed Downtown
As part of the Town of Estes Park’s Downtown Wayfinding Plan (DWP), DaVinci Sign Systems, Inc. will begin the first phase of pedestrian wayfinding signs the week of April 3, with 14 new wayfinding signs to be installed throughout the downtown area. These signs will consist of large kiosks with maps of the downtown area and also smaller pedestrian directional signage to local attractions and public destinations such as parks and trails.
Weather permitting, the wayfinding sign installation project is scheduled to start Wednesday, April 5, and continue through early June. Work will consist of small excavations and concrete or paver removal in various locations. The work zones will be small and may disrupt normal pedestrian patterns through the downtown trail and sidewalk network. If necessary, detour routes and/or trail closures will be properly signed. No disruption to any streets is anticipated for this work.
The DWP is led by the Public Works Department and was adopted by the Town Board in January 2023. Learn more about the purpose of wayfinding and Estes Park's pursuit of a Downtown Wayfinding Signage Program by checking out the Roadmap and Project Updates History below. For further information, contact Trevor Wittwer, Civil Engineer, at email@example.com or 970-577-3586.
Downtown Wayfinding Plan Roadmap 2022-2023
- Step 1: Documenting Existing Conditions
Timeframe: February - March
The project team, comprised of urban planners and signage experts, will document the existing locations of signs in Downtown Estes Park (gateway/community entrances, directional, public amenities, and the parking pilot signs installed in 2021). This information will be collected and mapped, along with the proposed locations for new signs that were identified by the Town as part of implementation of the 2018 planning effort. The overall goal is to understand where existing signs are located and what is missing.
- Step 2: Community Input - Round 1
The Town and project team will be hosting a community meeting on April 21, 2022, to gather initial input regarding the wayfinding project. We will present both existing conditions and examples of best practices for signage to help determine what the residents like and want to see developed for Downtown Estes Park. The input collected will be used to prepare preliminary design concepts for proposed signs.
The project team will also meet with the Transportation Advisory Board on April 20, 2022.
- Step 3: Design & Locations
Timeframe: April - May
The next step will be to confirm where new signs should go, what type of signs they should be (gateway/welcome, directional, etc.), and what they should look like. The project team will prepare two preliminary conceptual designs. One will be based on the conceptual designs prepared by the Town in 2019 while the other will be a new concept based on feedback collected from the public during the April 21 input session.
- Step 4: Community Input - Round 2
The two preliminary conceptual designs for new signs will be presented to the community in June, when members will provide their opinion on what parts of the design concepts they like or don’t like. The Town will utilize this webpage and various communication methods to keep the public informed of upcoming events and community input opportunities for the DWP. Be sure to follow the Town of Estes Park on Facebook!
- Step 5: Prepare the Draft Plan
Timeframe: June - August
Once the preferred design option is chosen, the project team will develop a comprehensive draft Downtown Wayfinding Plan (DWP) that will include the signage designs, location plan, and message schedule.
- Step 6: Community Input - Round 3
Timeframe: August - September
This draft of the Downtown Wayfinding Plan (DWP), including the preferred design for new signs and location plan, will be presented to the community and the Transportation Advisory Board in August 2022.
- Step 7: Finalize & Adopt the Plan
Timeframe: October - November
The project team will then take all notes and input received and compose a final draft of the Downtown Wayfinding Plan (DWP). This final DWP draft will be presented to the Town Board and Transportation Advisory Board to ensure that the plan is implementable, equitable, and representative of the goals and values of the Town of Estes Park. Ultimately, the Town Board will be asked to adopt the final DWP in late 2022 or early 2023, and the Town can then begin to implement all aspects of wayfinding signage!
A wayfinding signage program is designed to meet the needs of both residents and visitors, with a focus on all transportation modes within the project limits and along major access thoroughfares. Street level vitality, legibility, safety, maintenance, and replacement costs are all major considerations in creating an informational, user-friendly, wayfinding signage program.
An effective wayfinding and signage program accomplishes the following:
- Placemaking - Reinforce a sense of place for Downtown Estes Park, enhancing the community image and brand
- Brand Awareness - Support, brand, and identify a distinct identity for Downtown with signage that blends with the historic, yet modern feel of the area
- Legibility - Highlight important community resources and destinations Downtown, and how to access them through clearly defined directional information
- Roadway Visibility - Direct visitors to Downtown destinations
- Economic Development - Increase awareness of the Downtown area, helping to increase sales tax revenues, general interest, economic growth, tourism and investment
Purpose & Goals of the Downtown Wayfinding Plan
As both a tourist destination and a deeply rooted Colorado community, Downtown Estes Park is in a unique position to tell its story through signage and wayfinding. The new signage will stand on the shoulders of previously completed plans, as well as the long history of the Estes Park community and its potential for future growth and economic development.
In 2018, the Downtown Plan (DP) was adopted by the Town. Included in the DP were recommendations for improving wayfinding signage. The first task was to prepare and implement the Parking Pilot Project. The Town of Estes Park hired a project consultant to design the signs and assist the Town through the construction bid process in 2021. This task of the Downtown Wayfinding Signage Program, explained in the Parking Pilot Project Booklet, was completed with the placement of new signs in the Downtown parking lots. Now, in 2022, the Town's Downtown Wayfinding Plan (DWP) is focused on expanding signage throughout Downtown, with the design and implementation services of E. Holdings, Inc. and Michael Baker International.
Central to the success of any signage and wayfinding program is its ability to communicate a memorable, compelling, understandable, and authentic story about place. A great community wayfinding program highlights key attributes of a place while creating an emotional bond with residents and visitors, and providing stakeholders with a solid foundation for marketing and promotion. Having connections to planning, graphic design, marketing, consensus-building and stakeholder engagement, a successful signage and wayfinding plan is grounded in a broad and deep understanding of what makes a place great.
The primary goals of the new signage and wayfinding program include:
- Create a cohesive, iconic, inclusive, and welcoming wayfinding system that celebrates the community and directs visitors into and through Downtown Estes Park
- Alert and direct visitors and residents to community amenities in Downtown, particularly directed towards pedestrians and bicyclists
- Provide opportunities for the community to provide meaningful input into the signage designs to ensure that they are reflective of the image and values of Estes Park
- Identify the style, quantity and type of signage needed Downtown
- Outline the costs and resources needed to implement the content and background of the signage and wayfinding designs project
Project Updates History
- 2023 Updates
March 2023 | Downtown Wayfinding Signage Plan Adopted for Implementation
Based on recommendations within the 2018 Downtown Plan, the Downtown Wayfinding Signage Program Design & Implementation Plan (D & IP) has been developed as the guiding document toward phased implementation of the Downtown Wayfinding Signage Program (DWP). The final D & IP was adopted by the Town Board in January 2023.
The contractor bid was awarded in early February 2023 for construction to begin in late 2023 or early 2024.
- 2022 Updates
November 2022 | Third Revision of Design Booklet Now Available
Following the September 2022 Downtown Wayfinding Signage Design Open House, the project team was guided by input from the online survey of preliminary signage designs and placement as they developed the design draft booklet. This draft was presented in late September and revised, with public comment considerations, on October 14, October 26, and November 11. The current draft can be accessed using the link below:
The final design booklet is expected to be presented in November, with implementation beginning in late 2022.
November 2022 | Second Revision of Design Booklet
Following the September 2022 Downtown Wayfinding Signage Design Open House, the project team was guided by input from the online survey of preliminary signage designs and placement as they developed the design draft booklet. This draft was presented in late September and revised, with public comment considerations, on October 14 and again on October 26. The current draft can be accessed using the link below:
The final design booklet is expected to be presented in November, with implementation beginning in late 2022.
October 2022 | Revised Design Booklet & Messaging Plan Now Available
Thanks to all those who participated in the September Downtown Wayfinding Signage Design Open House. Input from the online survey of preliminary signage designs and placement guided the project team as they developed the design draft booklet, which was presented in late September. Input on the draft booklet is now reflected in the revised draft, which can be accessed using the link below. Also available below is a link to the spreadsheet detailing how the wayfinding signage will be placed throughout Downtown Estes Park.
September 2022 | Survey Results and Draft Design & Implementation booklet
Thanks to all those who took time to participate in the September 1-14 Downtown Wayfinding Signage Design Open House. Input from the online survey of preliminary signage designs and placement guided the project team as they developed the design draft booklet. Links to the survey results and draft design booklet are available below:
September 2022 | Wayfinding Signage Open House
Thanks to community feedback, the project team developed a full preliminary signage design for further community participation. Introductory project and design overview videos (see links below) were available on the project webpage along with an online survey that was accessible September 1-14. The final Downtown Wayfinding Signage Program is expected to be presented in late 2022.
July 2022 | Preliminary Design Survey
Input from the preliminary design survey was gathered throughout the month of July, with over 240 participants. The project team will use these results to develop the final signage designs, which will be unveiled in September. The team is also preparing the location plan (where will the signs go), the messaging plan (what the signs will say), and the plan documents.
April 21, 2022 | Public Meeting