Comment Board

Comments By DateComments By Board

Hal Hardaway (user 176) - Comments by Date

Wayfinding Signs‏
From: Hal HARDAWAY (
Sent: Thu 7/01/10 11:46 AM

As I mentioned last evening, this is a first class initiative.

Here are some thoughts, which might already be incorporated into the planning already:

Signs should be geographically oriented in their particular placement, even if it means making mirror image signs. For example, there's a really nice sign near Chadwick's that gives directions for those walking along the waterfront. But as one looks at the sign with the actual river to the left, the river on the sign is to the right. A lot of people will just give up when trying to make the mirror image flip mentally.

Mentioned to you my pet peeve nationally with the ambiguity between multiple road names, and route numbers. For major thoroughfares, like Washington Street/GW Parkway, would be nice if signs incorporated all names. I always have to tell those seeking directions that the GW Parkway is Washington Street in Alexandria, as it's not necessarily intuitively obvious.

Likewise with route numbers. I live on South Union Street, and you wouldn't believe how often I give directions to people looking for Route 1 (or is it Patrick Street, Henry Street, Jeff Davis Highway or Richmond Highway?) I've collected some city maps off the free trolley to give them, with directions hand-marked thereon. Bottom line is I think there should be signs at every east-west running street in Old Town with directions to Route 1 (and all its aliases). A corollary of this is directions to the beltway and Wilson Bridge.

Signs indicating the direction simply to "The River" would be nice, and charismatic. An easy one, but I'm always gettting asked about that.

Can't remember, but any signs with the Metro train icon should also include the AMTRAK logo. Airport markings would also be nice. It would all be subtle advertising for Alexandria's superb location for transport connectivity.

We talked about the elegantly simple signs in central London indicated "The North, The South, The East, The West". You're probably right that Americans aren't so oriented, but it would lend itself to OT's grid pattern and generally cardinal orientation.

Thanks for bearing with these ramblings, and keep up the good work.

Hal Hardaway
311 South Union Street
434.645.9897 Mobile

Hal Hardaway (176) | User | July 1, 2010 - 11:49 AM | City Wayfinding Program