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Posted on July 10, 2017 at 2:38 PM by Anne Brown
As many of you may have noticed by now, there are new blue and beige signs scattered throughout Worthington. They welcome you to the city, mark the historic district, display information for upcoming events, direct you to local shops and restaurants, and they even tell you where public parking is. These signs are the first phase of a larger comprehensive wayfinding plan for the city. Essentially, wayfinding uses local landmarks, signage, and pathways to orient residents and visitors and help them navigate their way from place to place. The new system will accentuate the Wilson Bridge Road Corridor and downtown Worthington, as well as improve movement throughout the city.
This citywide initiative was kick-started in 2014 by a steering committee made up of area residents, business owners, community groups, and city leaders who reviewed and provided input for the project. They found that much of the signage in Worthington was becoming outdated, hard to maintain, and was not aesthetically consistent. They also voiced concerns about marking public parking and providing directions to local businesses. On a larger scale, they saw this as an opportunity to strengthen Worthington’s identity. As Columbus continues to grow around Worthington, it becomes increasingly important to hold onto our unique, close-knit feel. Worthington not only needed a more cohesive system that would make navigation easier, but also one that would establish a stronger, connected sense of place.
Multiple case studies have shown that wayfinding can enhance a city’s identity, pride, and character, while increasing accessibility. Wayfinding is more than just telling people where to go. It is also about bringing together identity and place. By tapping into how a community identifies itself and promotes who they are, wayfinding creates a narrative that brings a familiar clarity to spaces. It allows us to foster community in new ways without forfeiting the distinctive character that makes Worthington, Worthington. While traditional signage tends to work for drivers, wayfinding makes directions legible for cyclists and pedestrians as well. As a result, we can better cater to all types of transportation. Visitors will have an easier time finding their way around town, while long-time residents will be able to develop a stronger connection to their city.
Upcoming phases of the project include putting up new street name signs throughout Old Worthington and adding new signage for the municipal buildings and parks.