Wayfinding in Alexandria

The City of Alexandria has a comprehensive city-wide wayfinding signage system that projects a consistent image for the entire city; reduces visual clutter; and promotes walking, bicycling, and use of mass transit.

Page updated on Mar 1, 2017 at 11:29 AM

What's New?


Background

In 2010, the City of Alexandria completed development of a citywide Wayfinding Design Guidelines Manual to guide implementation of a comprehensive citywide signage system. The wayfinding system projects a consistent image for the entire city; reduces visual clutter; and promotes walking, bicycling, and use of mass transit. A Wayfinding Stakeholder Advisory Group established by the City Manager provided input to the City and consultant team and served as a liaison to the community regarding the project as it developed. Membership of the group was made up of representatives from business/civic groups and City commissions and boards. On September 7, 2010, Planning Commission approved the Wayfinding Design Guidelines Manual. 


Implementation

Implementation and maintenance of the Wayfinding Program is led by the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services with support from the Department of Planning & Zoning. The signage program is implemented in phases as budgeted in the Capital Improvement Program  (CIP).

  • Phase 1, now completed, included parking-related wayfinding signs in Old Town.
  • Phase 2, slated for completion in late 2016-early 2017, will consist of pedestrian-oriented signage in Old Town.
  • Phase 3, anticipated for installation in 2017, will consist of vehicular directional signs throughout the city. 

For detailed information on funding and phasing, please visit the City's budget webpage, and navigate to the current year's approved Capital Improvement Program, Community Development Section.

Questions regarding implementation?

Contact Matt Melkerson, TES, Transportation Division, at 703-746-4101.


Design Guidelines

On September 7, 2010, Planning Commission approved the City of Alexandria Wayfinding Design Guidelines Manual, with a minor revision to page 92 in Part 3-Appendix.  The approved manual as revised is posted below in sections for ease of access.  


2010 Planning Process

  • Wayfinding Goals and Objectives - The purpose of the project was to develop a comprehensive wayfinding signage system for the City that would be installed following a phased implementation plan. Project objectives included:
    • Develop a vehicular and pedestrian wayfinding system for destinations throughout the City with a focus on the Old Town core of the City;
    • Develop a wayfinding system that will create an overall identity for the City, that is compatible with its historic character, and that will also help to differentiate existing and emerging districts;
    • Provide signage that will direct visitors to parking lots and garages;
    • Provide trailblazer signage for interstate, state roads, and primary bicycle trails, as well as major destinations just outside City boundaries (Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Mount Vernon);
    • Reduce visual clutter and increase consistency of City signage;
    • Promote walking, bicycling, and use of mass transit;
    • Support the developing regional interpretive trail system and reinforce historical and regional trail themes by incorporating regional trails and historic sites into City interpretive signage;
    • Integrate Alexandria Heritage Trail interpretive signage (designed previously and partially installed); and
    • Address ADA guidelines and considerations in the design of the program.
  • The comprehensive wayfinding signage system was to consist of the following parts:
    • City Gateways
    • Commercial District Gateways
    • Destination Directional Signs (to include historic districts and sites)
    • Destination Identity Signs
    • Parking Directional Signs
    • Parking Identity Signs
    • Pedestrian Directional Signs
    • Trailblazer Signs
    • Interpretive Signs (to include integration of previously developed Alexandria Heritage Trail signage)
    • Interpretive Kiosks (Old Town and at 4 Metro Stations (King Street, Braddock Road, Van Dorn Street, and Eisenhower Avenue)

Past Meetings & Materials

September 7, 2010 Planning Commission Hearing: PC approved the City of Alexandria Wayfinding Design Guidelines Manual, with a minor revision to page 92 in Part 3-Appendix.  The revised approved manual is posted above in sections for ease of access.  

June 30, 2010, Wayfinding Open House and Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting 

June 16, 2010 Old and Historic District Board of Architectural Review Hearing 

Mockups Evaluation Phase and Draft Design Guidelines Manual Public Review and Comment Period Complete  (May 14 - May 31, 2010) 

May 19, 2010 6-7:30pm, BAR Joint Work Session -- Staff solicited the BAR's comments on the mockups, the sign program overall, and building mounted parking garage signs.

January 26, 2010. Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting 

April 7, 2009 Presentation to National Park Service on proposed Washington Street sign elements 

April 7, 2009 Planning Commission hearing on conceptual approval of Phase 1 signs 

April 1, 2009 O&HD BAR public hearing on conceptual approval of Phase 1 signs 

March 25, 2009 Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting 

March 18, 2009 O&HD BAR work session 

February 18, 2009 Joint BAR work session 

February 2, 2009 City Council work session 

January 6. 2009 Planning Commission and Boards of Architectural Review Joint work session 

January 5, 2009 Community Open House 

November 6, 2008 Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting 

September 24, 2008 Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting 

June 19, 2008 Stakeholder Advisory Group Collaborative Community Workshop 

May 29, 2008 Stakeholder Advisory Group Joint Community Meeting 

April 24, 2008 Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting 

February 27, 2008 Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting 

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