Pasadena In Focus
Pasadena in Focus, March - April 2013

Way Finding Around Town

 Cover Story 

A series of modern, color-coordinated “way finding” signs are now popping up in Pasadena to help guide visitors, workers, bicyclists and residents to key destinations, attractions and other points of interest around town.

The integrated, directional signs have a clean, attractive look with easy-to-read words and arrows noting major landmarks such as the Rose Bowl Stadium, Norton Simon Art Museum, Pasadena Convention Center, Pacific Asia Museum, retail shopping areas, public transit hubs and parking garages, Caltech, Pasadena City College, the Gamble House, Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, Huntington Hospital, Pasadena Playhouse and City Hall.

The signs are being installed in the Old Pasadena, Civic Center, Playhouse, East Pasadena, Hastings Ranch, North Pasadena, Arroyo Seco and South Lake areas. The first six of the 378 new way finding signs were installed March 6. The rest of the signs will be installed during the next few months.

About 150 of the signs are being placed for easy pedestrian viewing within the various districts while the rest of the 228 signs are being strategically located to help motorists navigate.

The first phase of Pasadena’s new comprehensive signage project is helping to brand and market the best of what Pasadena has to offer. The second and third phases will include additional signs with changeable data to inform motorists of parking availability at various garages plus monument signs marking main entry points into Pasadena.

The $2.2 million project includes about $1.68 million in Proposition C monies from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and about $512,000 in matching funds provided by the City. Total funding for the first phase was about $1 million, including the 378 signs, steel poles, footings, brackets, labor and administrative costs.

Way finding signs have been used throughout history, dating back to ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian times when sign boards were used to note merchant groups plying a certain trade and the location of taverns or other services. More elaborate carved and painted signs promoting guilds were used extensively in the Middle Ages. In modern times, a resurgence of way finding signs have been installed in many major metropolitan areas to market distinct neighborhoods. Pasadena joins Los Angeles and other cities in Southern California enjoying the economic benefits of a comprehensive, way finding sign program.

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