New signs help visitors discover Washington

Published 5:29 pm Friday, June 19, 2020

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Imagine for a moment you’ve never been to Washington. It’s your first time coming into town, and you want to visit the North Carolina Estuarium, or check out some local parks. Coming into town from the north, south, east or west, what’s your first impression? How do you know where to find the town’s various points of interest?

A system of new wayfaring signs throughout the city will help visitors answer those questions and present a consistent theme throughout town.

“Wayfinding signs are entryway signs, directional signs and place marker identification signs that guide pedestrians to city landmarks,” wrote Washington Community and Cultural Services Director Mike Dail. “Phase 1 of this project was completed in 2018, with numerous signs being installed in the downtown and center city area. In Phase 2, signs were placed along major corridors, including four entryway signs and 19 directional signs. Future phases of the wayfinding sign project will include place marker identification signs for city parks and facilities.”

Each sign contains helpful information for drivers and pedestrians, as well as city logos that reinforce the town’s branding, as seen on the City of Washington and Washington Tourism Development Authority’s websites.

“When it started, it was just to help with connectivity and finding different destinations throughout the city,” said Washington City Manager Jonathan Russell. “We expanded on that some to go out to our entryways to add some basic ‘Welcome to Washington’ signs. … It’s part of the overall branding from a marketing and aesthetic standpoint.”

At the WTDA, Director Erin Ruyle thinks the signs will build on Washington’s reputation as a visitor-friendly environment.

“From a tourism perspective, we are excited about the wayfinding infrastructure signs. They will help visitors navigate the course to their desired location while setting their minds at ease,” she said. “The signs will enhance the city’s tourist appeal and boost the city’s overall economy.”