Wayfinding in Alexandria
Finding Historic Locations through Wayfinding
In 2010, the City of Alexandria completed development of a citywide Wayfinding Design Guidelines Manual to guide implementation of a comprehensive citywide signage system. The wayfinding system projects a consistent image for the entire city; reduces visual clutter; and promotes walking, bicycling, and use of mass transit. A Wayfinding Stakeholder Advisory Group established by the City Manager provided input to the City and consultant team and served as a liaison to the community regarding the project as it developed. Membership of the group was made up of representatives from business/civic groups and City commissions and boards. On September 7, 2010, Planning Commission approved the Wayfinding Design Guidelines Manual.
Implementation and maintenance of the Wayfinding Program is led by the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services with support from the Department of Planning & Zoning. The signage program is implemented in phases as budgeted in the City's Capital Improvement Program (CIP). A detailed progress report was provided to City Council in November 2017. Further updates are also included in the Annual Status of Implementation Reports for the City's Master Plan.
- Phase 1: Parking-related signage in Old Town - Complete
- Phase 2: Pedestrian-oriented signage in Old Town - Complete
- Phase 3 & 4: 140 vehicular directional signs installed throughout the city anticipated for completion in Spring 2022. Signage at gateways to the city are in development with installation anticipated in 2022-2023.
- Phase 5: Destination identification signs for citywide cultural, parks and civic locations - Complete
- Phases 6 & 7: Signs for shared-use paths, historic district identification signage, and additional pedestrian-oriented and historic interpretation signage anticipated for development and installation in 2022-2023.
Following a request from business owners at Cameron Station, the business district sign program was expanded to include this neighborhood. In addition, Historic District markers for Town of Potomac and Old and Historic Alexandria historic districts were installed.
2010 Planning Process
Goals and Objectives
- Wayfinding Goals and Objectives - The purpose of the project was to develop a comprehensive wayfinding signage system for the City that would be installed following a phased implementation plan. Project objectives included:
- Develop a vehicular and pedestrian wayfinding system for destinations throughout the City with a focus on the Old Town core of the City;
- Develop a wayfinding system that will create an overall identity for the City, that is compatible with its historic character, and that will also help to differentiate existing and emerging districts;
- Provide signage that will direct visitors to parking lots and garages;
- Provide trailblazer signage for interstate, state roads, and primary bicycle trails, as well as major destinations just outside City boundaries (Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Mount Vernon);
- Reduce visual clutter and increase consistency of City signage;
- Promote walking, bicycling, and use of mass transit;
- Support the developing regional interpretive trail system and reinforce historical and regional trail themes by incorporating regional trails and historic sites into City interpretive signage;
- Integrate Alexandria Heritage Trail interpretive signage (designed previously and partially installed); and
- Address ADA guidelines and considerations in the design of the program.
- The comprehensive wayfinding signage system was to consist of the following parts:
- City Gateways
- Commercial District Gateways
- Destination Directional Signs (to include historic districts and sites)
- Destination Identity Signs
- Parking Directional Signs
- Parking Identity Signs
- Pedestrian Directional Signs
- Trailblazer Signs
- Interpretive Signs (to include integration of previously developed Alexandria Heritage Trail signage)
- Interpretive Kiosks (Old Town and at 4 Metro Stations (King Street, Braddock Road, Van Dorn Street, and Eisenhower Avenue)
Meetings and Materials
September 7, 2010 Planning Commission Hearing: PC approved the City of Alexandria Wayfinding Design Guidelines Manual, with a minor revision to page 92 in Part 3-Appendix. The revised approved manual is posted above in sections for ease of access.
June 30, 2010, Wayfinding Open House and Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting
- Summary of comments received
- Audio recording of meeting
- Wayfinding Mockup Boards
June 16, 2010 Old and Historic District Board of Architectural Review Hearing
- Docket Item #10 - Memorandum to BAR regarding Approval of Wayfinding Parking Identity Signs
- Docket Item #11 - Memorandum to BAR regarding Amendments to the Criteria and Standards for Administrative Approval of Signs within the Historic Districts
Mockups Evaluation Phase and Draft Design Guidelines Manual Public Review and Comment Period Complete (May 14 - May 31, 2010)
- Summary of comments received
- Overview of evaluation/public review process
- Mockup Signs - Detailed package of signs and Map
- Mockup Map Only
May 19, 2010 6-7:30pm, BAR Joint Work Session -- Staff solicited the BAR's comments on the mockups, the sign program overall, and building mounted parking garage signs.
January 26, 2010. Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting
- Agenda (includes upcoming schedule)
- Draft Meeting Summary
- Audio recording
April 7, 2009 Presentation to National Park Service on proposed Washington Street sign elements
April 7, 2009 Planning Commission hearing on conceptual approval of Phase 1 signs
- Memo to Planning Commission
- Staff report
April 1, 2009 O&HD BAR public hearing on conceptual approval of Phase 1 signs
March 25, 2009 Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting
March 18, 2009 O&HD BAR work session
February 18, 2009 Joint BAR work session
February 2, 2009 City Council work session
January 6. 2009 Planning Commission and Boards of Architectural Review Joint work session
January 5, 2009 Community Open House
November 6, 2008 Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting
September 24, 2008 Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting
June 19, 2008 Stakeholder Advisory Group Collaborative Community Workshop
- Meeting Boards for breakout group discussion
- Breakout groups easel pad notes
- Meeting Summary
- Meeting Audio
May 29, 2008 Stakeholder Advisory Group Joint Community Meeting
April 24, 2008 Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting
February 27, 2008 Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting
Contact Mary Konsoulis, Transportation & Environmental Services, 703.746.4019.