Wayfinding has officially arrived in Cheyenne, and the Cheyenne Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) created the plan to help get it here.
What is wayfinding?
A staple in many big cities, “wayfinding” is a navigational system that uses signage to help people (locals and tourists alike) find specific districts, destinations, and points of interest within a city.
Why did Cheyenne need a wayfinding plan?
As Wyoming’s capital city, Cheyenne sees thousands of visitors every year. Though some directional signage was already in place, none of the signs related to each other in a way that provided order or signaled a clear hierarchy among the messages displayed.
What could be done to help people better find their way around Cheyenne? Create new signage! And the MPO was just the organization for the job.
Who created the wayfinding plan?
In 2007, the MPO established a plan for creating new wayfinding signage in the Cheyenne area. Not only would the new signs be more uniform in appearance, they would also be designed in a way that reflected Cheyenne’s overall character, quality, and authenticity.
What happened during Phase I of the plan?
In this phase:
- The MPO teamed up with Visit Cheyenne
- A conceptual design theme for the various sign family hierarchies was developed
- A detailed reconnaissance of the existing sign system was completed
- Important destinations and points of interest in the Cheyenne area were prioritized and grouped into districts
- Visual elements to unify the various sign types—such as regional gateway signs, interstate directional guide signs, community and district gateway and directional signs, pedestrian kiosks etc.—were used
In 2008, the governing body of the city of Cheyenne approved Phase I of the plan.
What happened during Phase II of the plan?
In this phase:
- Extensive input was collected from the public and different departments in Cheyenne, including the Downtown Development Authority
- Approved wayfinding sign designs were refined
- Locations for signs were chosen
- A plan was drafted to show design details for each of the sign types; plan locations for each of the signs; and estimate costs for sign fabrication and installation
When did the first wayfinding signs go up in Cheyenne?
Though secured grant funding in 2011, Visit Cheyenne was able to construct and install new parking signs at the Spiker Parking Structure on West Lincolnway in downtown Cheyenne.
That same year, three of the plan’s six proposed downtown pedestrian kiosks were installed.
In 2016, the plan took another big step forward. Visit Cheyenne (in partnership with the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority and Cheyenne Frontier Days) secured additional funds to:
- Manufacture many of the remaining signs in the plan for downtown Cheyenne, the Capitol Complex area, and around Frontier Park and Lions Park
- Manufacture new entryway signage near Interstates 25 and 80
During this time, the MPO staff refined the designs of the proposed wayfinding signs from their original form, bringing them up to the latest national wayfinding sign standards.
Once these updated designs received approval, the City Traffic Department began the process of sign installation—just in time to begin guiding visitors around town during Cheyenne Frontier Days 2017!
How does wayfinding benefit Cheyenne?
As you’ve seen around Cheyenne, the next phase of the updated wayfinding signage is all in place;. Now, the MPO, Visit Cheyenne and others are looking to complete the wayfinding project throughout the whole community.
Coming up on October 28th, the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Cheyenne Class of 2017 will be raising funds through their annual Boo Ball event to pay for more entryway signs to welcome visitors to our city.
To learn more about the MPO’s latest plans, including opportunities for public input, join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PlanCheyenne/.