Have you ever been in a new town and gotten lost, driven around looking for that parking lot or business or park that the GPS promises is at the next right? A comprehensive wayfinding sign system is a part of a larger marketing and communication system that moves from website to on-site. Wayfinding systems for downtowns usually have a narrower focus than community-wide systems and present an opportunity for communities to highlight more specific destinations and offer guidance to pedestrians, as well as to create a welcoming atmosphere.
In 2020, Frazier Associates, a full-service architecture and planning firm in Staunton, VA that leads design services for the Virginia Main Street (VMS) program, made a site visit to the Town of Farmville to conduct an assessment of their existing sign system and meet with the community’s wayfinding task group, which was spearheaded by the local Main Street program, Farmville Downtown Partnership (FDP). After the assessment and interview, schematic options were developed for various sign types, particularly parking directional and lot identification signs, which were determined to be the most urgently needed elements that were missing around downtown.
Partnering alongside the Town of Farmville, FDP applied for and received a FY2022 Downtown Investment Grant (DIG), totaling $25,000, from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to help fabricate and install a new downtown wayfinding system for Farmville’s historic commercial district, ensuring that once a visitor reaches downtown, a clear parking directional and lot identification system exists to help them find parking in the historic downtown area. The new signs can be found at or around key municipal parking areas, and they have begun to improve traffic flow and ease the transition between car and pedestrian use within the historic commercial district, which naturally increases customer traffic to local businesses. Below are two examples of signs that were installed:
In total, eight (8) parking identification signs and 15 vehicular parking directional signs were installed throughout Downtown Farmville, and they look great. Come visit downtown Farmville and see for yourself!