Waterfront kiosks a tourism contribution to wayfinding

Published 1:29 am Thursday, December 21, 2017


Washington got a wayfinding addition this week, when two kiosks were installed at Stewart Parkway and Festival Park downtown.

The kiosks are there to help people know where they are and figure out where they’re going, according to Washington Tourism Development Authority Director Lynn Davis.

“They’re really there to help peole who find themselves in downtown Washington to familiarize themselves with where they are in relation to shopping and dining and recreational opportunities,” Davis said. “If you’re at the lighthouse, you show up with your family to eat your Bill’s Hot Dogs — which happens a lot — you can see on the map that there’s a park the kids can play at.”

Davis said one side of the kiosk includes a pedestrian map and directory for the harbor district; the other describes some of Washington’s key events. The goal is to not only point people to what’s nearby, but also to other activities and places outside of downtown Washington. The signs aren’t just for visitors, either, Davis said.

“Even local residents are often surprised by the variety of things they can find to do here,” she said.

The kiosks are part of a greater wayfinding plan that started in 2015 by the City of Washington. Phase 1 was funded in 2016, and signs have been installed on city streets around the downtown area. However, the kiosks were TDA’s contribution to the effort.

“This was solely funded by the TDA,” said Davis, who served on the wayfinding committee during the planning stage. “We recognized that kiosks were part of the greater wayfinding plan, but funding was going to be an issue. So, this was a way for the TDA to complement the city’s effort to implement the wayfinding plan.”

Davis said the wayfinding signage is not reserved just for downtown, and the plan is to extend signage throughout Washington to help people better orient themselves. Implementation of signage on state roads is awaiting N.C. Department of Transportation approval.