Wayfinding Signs

Project Status: In Progress

The City of Falls Church awarded the bid to engineer the signs to Rite Lite Signs, Inc. in February 2021. Round one/primary sign installations are scheduled for late Spring/Summer 2021. 

About the Project

In Spring 2018, Virginia Tech's Land Use Planning Class presented to City Council (PDF) an inventory of signage throughout the City and recommendations for improvements, including designing and installing consistent wayfinding signage for pedestrians and motorists. In 2019, the Economic Development Authority (EDA) hired Frazier and Associates to create a Wayfinding Sign System, including graphic design and sign placement (PDF). 

The sign design and locations were identified through 12 public meetings, two public surveys, and guided by sign criteria that were set by an interest group of Boards and Commissions and local advocates at public meetings in Fall 2019. Below is an outline of the public meeting process and minutes related to this project: 

Action

Date

Tour of the City with Frazier and Associates

September 10th, 2019 

  • Initial EDA meeting with Frazier and Associates to introduce Wayfinding goals, intention, and impact
  • First survey with EDA members on Wayfinding

September 10th, 2019 

The second survey with an interest group, Planning Commission, VPIS, Parks and Recreation, and Chamber of Commerce and EDA represented. The group identifies sign program criteria. 

September 11th, 2019

  • Public Survey, posted in News Flash section of website and weekly newsletter under Top News #3 on Facebook  
  • 27 anonymous responses 

October 7th-October 24th, 2019

EDA Meeting, first design draft feedback with Frazier and Associates

November 5th , 2019

Frazier and Associates produce survey summary from all public and EDA meetings/feedback

November 7th , 2019  

EDA meeting, Frazier re-design feedback

December 3rd, 2019

Frazier public presentation and discussion on programming and design

March 3rd , 2020

Frazier and Associates presented the option to fund the program in phases because the EDA could not fund the entire program, in light of the $500,000 spent on COVID small business grant funds.

EDA voted to move forward in phases, contingent on a presentation to City Council asking them to fund the second phase. 

http://www.fallschurchva.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Minutes/_09092020-1615 

September 9th, 2020

EDA presented the wayfinding program to Council and presented the idea of the phased approach: https://fallschurch-va.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=1281 

The Council could not commit to funding phase 2

September 14th, 2020

EDA was refunded $510,000 for COVID small business grants, allowing them the ability to fund the entire Wayfinding program

October 26th, 2020

EDA discussed funding the entire Wayfinding program but asked for additional technical details before officially approving: http://www.fallschurchva.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Minutes/_10062020-1632 

October 6th, 2020

EDA voted to approve to fund the entire Wayfinding program, upon receiving the refund and more information from the consultants:

http://www.fallschurchva.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Minutes/_11102020-1674 

November 10th, 2020

EDA was presented with the next steps and discussed putting out the wayfinding bid with help from purchasing staff: http://www.fallschurchva.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Minutes/_12012020-1687 

December 1st, 2020

The bid was released and awarded.

February 2020

Wayfinding Mockups p1


Wayfinding Mockups p2

Several different signs types and locations were proposed: 

  1. Primary Gateway Signs (4x), placed at or near East Broad Street (coming from Seven Corners), N Washington Street (coming from Arlington County), S Washington Street (coming from Fairfax County), and West Broad Street (coming from Fairfax County). 
  2. Secondary Gateway Signs (5x), placed at or near South West Street (coming from Fairfax County), Annandale Road (coming from Fairfax County), Hillwood Avenue (coming from Fairfax County), and Roosevelt Boulevard (coming from both Seven Corners and East Falls Church Metro). 
  3. Primary and proximity destination signage, specifically for the Eden Center, Downtown area, City Hall campus (including City Hall, Community Center, Library, and Farmers Market), and State Theater. 
  4. Public parking signs.  

Wayfinding Mockups map Opens in new window

While the program cannot add any additional vehicular directional wayfinding signage (sign T1 in the above sign design), the sign designs can be used for additional public parking (signs P3 and P4) and site identification signage. 

Timeline

Conceptual Design: Summer/Fall 2020
Bids: Winter/Spring 2021
Installation: Phase One: Summer 2021; Phase Two: TBD

Staff Contacts

Becky Witsman (bwitsman@fallschurchva.gov)
Val Weiner (vweiner@fallschurchva.gov)