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    Pasadena’s Citywide Wayfinding Program is a pedestrian and vehicular-oriented program developed to assist residents, employees and visitors in navigating the City, providing greater exposure to cultural institutions and their proximity to the program user’s relative location.

    The City of Pasadena, with a population of over 140,000, has a daytime population over 110,000 and is visited by millions of people annually. It is located approximately 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles and encompasses a total of 23 square miles. Pasadena is served by two international airports (Los Angeles - LAX and Ontario - ONT), locally by the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank and is easily accessible by light rail or car.

    Pasadena has a diverse economy, many neighborhood serving districts and a multitude of cultural, civic, educational and entertainment destinations frequented by many first-time and infrequent visitors. Despite this, there exists no system to provide direction or orientation throughout the City. Modeling on successful wayfinding programs elsewhere, the City called on the services of Hunt Design to develop a citywide wayfinding program that would accomplish the following goals:

    • Enhance the image of Pasadena;
    • Remove visitor anxieties caused by disorientation and not knowing how to find one’s way;
    • Promote a sense of community and help support the perception of Pasadena as an accessible, safe and friendly environment;
    • Reflect the City’s character through the a unified design vernacular of the wayfinding system;
    • Improve access, identification and connectivity to Pasadena and between public transit and local destinations;
    • Reduce misdirected travel and help drivers locate and identify parking in close proximity to their destination;
    • Provide navigation information to visitors through the use of international symbols where applicable;
    • Seek to improve traffic flow by providing concise and clear direction to destination utilizing the existing one-way circulation system in Downtown and other mobility corridors; and
    • Route drivers through corridors designed to accommodate vehicular flow and minimize neighborhood “shortcuts.”

    The program is multipronged and provides a system for drivers and pedestrians.
    The Vehicular-oriented Wayfinding Framework exists to provide directional signage to points of interest and parking facilities to limit circulation and route drivers on streets designed for capacity such as Union and Green as parallels to Colorado Boulevard. As a secondary benefit, not only would the program help drivers navigate from points of entry to parking, but in doing so, the program could also reduce the number of people circling blocks in search of parking thereby reducing congestion.

    The second element is the Pedestrian-oriented Wayfinding Framework (consistent with the Vehicular-oriented Wayfinding Framework) aims to link users from one point of interest to another as well as geographic orientation. Both elements would be based on a singular design theme based on district identity that will work seamlessly and cohesively with one another.

    Fundamental to the entire program is the establishment of selection criteria for points of interest eligible for sign placement. Hunt Design proposed a number of criteria that the Group considered, amended and added to that included four basic parameters. From those parameters, a number of points of interest (POI) were identified. The parameters are as follows:

    • The POI must be of Community-wide significance
    • The POI must be a regional attraction
    • The POI must have a physical presence or building to visit of its own
    • The POI may not be a private company


    The wayfinding project was created in response to the 2007 Traffic Reduction Strategies Study prepared by Nelson Nygaard. The study’s purpose was to identify a toolbox of strategies that could reduce traffic by 10% or 25%. Some recommendations being controversial, the community engaged through dialogue resulting in the Transportation Advisory Commission’s 2008 pedestrian improvement recommendations which included a Citywide Wayfinding recommendation. In late 2009, an RFP was issued and Hunt Design Selected to prepare the proposal in concert with community stakeholders.

    The proposal was presented to City Commissions, Council subcommittees and Council for approval. 


    Economic Development and Technology August, 2010 
    Design Commission October 25, 2010
    Transportation Advisory Commission December 2, 2010  
    City Council May 9, 2011


    The project is funded through two sources; redevelopment funds in the amount of $512,000 and a Metro grant, whose source is a portion of Proposition C (the half cent LA County sales tax for transportation projects), in the amount of $1,685,700, for a total of $2,197,783.00.


    The design drawings include the Vehicular and Pedestrian-oriented Wayfinding, District Gateways and the City Gateway and monuments.