Billy Fried’s column on the city’s contemplated way-finding program needs some clarifications.. It also provided several good suggestions about how to help the city’s merchants such as parklets, bike corrals, bike sharing and other neighborhood enhancements.
First, some clarifications:
“This (wayfinding) program was conceived primarily to benefit merchants in the HIP District who complain the pedestrians rarely venture south on Coast Highway.”
The program to the best of my knowledge was conceived by Visit Laguna and the Chamber of Commerce four years ago. The HIP District had nothing to do with initiating the concept. Additionally, those of us who have spearheaded the HIP District have never complained about “pedestrians rarely venture south on Coast Highway.” The HIP District generates locals and visitors who choose to frequent the neighborhood. Sometimes they’re people who also go downtown sometimes not.
“What the sign program really accomplishes is sign clutter.”
To the contrary, it will reduce sign clutter. You imply that the way-finding signs will be on lampposts and sign posts along with other directional signs. Not the case. The way-finding signs in fact aren’t designed for motorists. They are designed for pedestrians and, yes, for cyclists. The signs would be on sidewalks and will include public interest directional information previously placed on signposts thereby reducing clutter not adding to it. It goes well beyond directing people to merchants. It is planned to direct people to places of interest such as the Playhouse and museum.
“Residents don’t need signs to direct them.”
Residents are one of the intended beneficiaries. Its intended to reduce visitors from driving all over town by letting them know about what’s nearby. Then visitors can walk and take a trolley. Also, locals come downtown or to the HIP District, park shop and return to their cars to drive somewhere else in Laguna. Reminders for locals about what’s down the street certainly won’t hurt as well.
“What we need is a wayfinding app.”
You’re right. A way finding app, web site, and maps will all integrate with the signs as a fully integrated way-finding strategy.
Keep entertaining and informing us about stuff in our town, but when you’re short on facts take a few minutes to pick up the phone and make a few calls to get it right.
Joe Hanauer, Laguna Beach