Thank you to Estes Park residents and visitors for providing input on preliminary designs for the Downtown Wayfinding Program's directional signs and informational kiosks; images are featured to the left. Input was gathered through an online survey that closed on July 31. Currently, the project team is reviewing the survey results to develop a comprehensive draft Downtown Wayfinding Program: Design and Implementation Plan.
This webpage is updated regularly to feature DWP progress and resources. Questions about the DWP may be directed to the consultant project manager, Amy Wiles, AICP, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Downtown Wayfinding Plan Roadmap
- 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 November 2022, 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