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Welcome to Cheyenne, wayfinding signs!

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!

Updated signage in downtown Cheyenne

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/.

West Lincolnway “Welcome Mat”

Completed in 2016, the landscaping and fence enhancements along Cheyenne’s West Lincolnway entryway create a stunning “welcome mat” for motorists entering the city.

What you may not know is that plans for this project began all the way back in 2004… and there’s still more to come!

Join us as we take a blast to the past, following this project from its initial plans to its current phase, then look toward the future to see what’s next.

2004:  As the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) began scheduling the reconstruction of West Lincolnway between I-80 and Westland Road for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004, the Cheyenne Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) began the planning for enhancements and landscaping along the corridor.

To kick off the planning, MPO reached out to Dave Ohde and Associates, who prepared the West Lincolnway Landscaping and Streetscaping Plan—a 35% design plan for landscaping, streetscaping and sidewalk on the north side of Lincolnway between I-80 and Westland Road.

After viewing the plan, Cheyenne citizens and members of the business community suggested that we add landscaped medians into the design. We thought that was a wonderful idea; this is a great example of why we value gathering public input!

It was thanks to this very input, in fact, that the plan was modified to include development of raised, landscaped and lighted medians, accented by architectural features that evoked Cheyenne’s railroad history.

2009:  Five years after the initial West Lincolnway reconstruction plan was created, funds became available to WYDOT—via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—for the actual construction to begin.

Thanks once again to the persistence of Cheyenne citizens, local businesses and LEADS, Cheyenne’s economic development agency, the MPO began to budget additional funds to design the West Lincolnway “gateway” enhancements for the south side of the plan, as well as finalize the landscape/streetscape details for areas on the north side where nearby businesses were willing to participate.

2012:  Three years later, with budgeted funds in hand, the MPO requested bids to design a fence and create landscaping for the south side of the corridor from I-80 to the BNSF Railway overpass east of Westland Road.

After all bids were received, a selection committee chose Greenscape Design, LLC. (Located just down the road in Fort Collins, CO.)

The planning project took the better part of a year to complete. MPO made the most of those busy 12 months by holding regular coordination meetings with a steering committee (consisting of railroad executives, WYDOT personnel, city engineering, local civic boosters and businesses along the corridor), as well hosting a public open house to receive citizen input on the plan.

2013:  In February, Greenscape Design, LLC completed the south side landscape plan. After approval, it was handed over to the City Engineering department to go out to bid for construction.

That same winter, WYDOT committed to providing $190,000.

2014:  Here’s where all the hard work of the past decade (time sure flies when you’re reading!) was finally brought to life.

The first phase of the West Lincolnway enhancement project was built in front of Tyrrell Chevrolet, resulting in a robust landscape of trees, shrubs, boulders and turf, and complete with irrigation and a meandering sidewalk. Local match funds were provided by Tyrrell Chevrolet.  

2015:  In August, Phase Two plans and bid documents were completed to begin the enhancements and create the landscaping for the area (between the south side curb of the highway to the Union Pacific property line) from the BNSF Railroad overpass by Westland Road to the main entrance to Little America by I-80.

The first bid on the project was twice the cost estimate and available funding from WYDOT. All bids were unfortunately rejected, so it was back to the drawing board for a redesign to lower costs.

2016:  With the project redesign completed, a rebid was able to take place in March. In addition, WYDOT made available more federal funds for a grand total of $400,000 to go toward the project.

Construction began in the summer, resulting in the installation and placement of a three-rail wood fence feature (that goes from the BNSF Railway overpass to just in front of Little America) and a four-column fence between Westland Road and Southwest Drive. The fence feature has sturdy cross fencing, accented by black, powder-coated truss brackets that connect the columns. In addition to the fence feature and fence, the completed project in this area includes irrigation, berms and a hearty fescue ground cover along two-thirds of the total project length.

2017 – ?  It is the hope of the MPO that more funds can be obtained to eventually complete the entire enhancement and landscaping plan. The work completed in 2016 is a good start to improving and beautifying the western entryway into the City of Cheyenne, and we can’t wait to see the plan through to completion.

View this plan in its entirety