New Signs Point Visitors to Shopping and Amenities

Port of Seattle Provides More than Half the Funding

The City of Burien is installing a new wayfinding system that directs both residents and visitors to downtown shopping, services, and amenities. The signs include 25 vehicular directional signs, 12 public parking signs, and a retrofit of two pedestrian map kiosks.
Installation of the vehicular wayfinding system began August 28, 2018 and will be complete by mid-September. A retrofit of two pedestrian map kiosks on 152nd St is scheduled to be completed in October.

What is a wayfinding system?

Wayfinding signage is a network of signs that guides people by vehicle, bicycle, or on foot to destinations such as parking, municipal services, medical services, and parks and trails. By directing visitors off the main arterials and easing them into the downtown core, the wayfinding system can inspire both visitors and residents to discover local businesses, attractions, and destinations on their own, leading to a unique experience of the city.
It can also help provide a sense of place for residents, adding a distinctive look and feel with the use of color, symbols, fonts, and other visual cues. Wayfinding can improve the quality of people’s understanding and experience of a place. A downtown wayfinding system will not only help navigate visitors from place to place, but will support the identity of downtown Burien as a great place to visit. The sign design complements the City’s brand.

Project background

The City’s Economic Development staff presented a comprehensive downtown mobility study to City Council in 2016. The study made several recommendations to make downtown more accessible for pedestrians, bikes, and cars as well as improve its development potential. A wayfinding program was identified as a top priority in order to encourage a ‘park once and shop twice’ traveler experience, directing visitors to parking and amenities.

“The new wayfinding system will direct travelers to the great amenities we have here in Burien and will not only help them find their destination, but discover new ones,” says Andrea Snyder, economic development manager for the City. “Our small businesses tell us they want to attract more airport users. These signs will guide more customers to Burien businesses.”

Community outreach was conducted in April 2017 during the design phase. The community engagement process included two open houses, a seven-person stakeholder advisory group made up of Burien residents and citizen advisory board, online survey, online project updates, and presentations to Council. The design of the wayfinding signage was guided by the stakeholder advisory group and built on the City’s brand, approved by Council in 2017.
Cost of fabrication and installation

Fabrication and installation of wayfinding signs cost $98,531. The City was awarded $50,000 from the Port of Seattle’s Economic Development Partnership program for the installation of the wayfinding system. The remaining $48,531 came from the City’s economic development budget. Funding for installation of a downtown wayfinding system was approved by City Council in the 2017-2018 budget.