Friday, May 20, 2011
In order to better assist the National Mall and Memorial Park’s 25 million annual visitors, the National Park Service and its partner organization, the Trust for the National Mall, unveiled the first of the National Mall’s new way finding signs on May 17th.
The new sign is 17 feet wide and eight feet tall and is the first installment in a multi-phased effort to implement the National Mall Plan’s recommendation for more useful and customer-friendly signage. Within seconds of the sign’s unveiling, visitors speaking French, German and Spanish could be heard already using the sign to help self-navigate to desired locations on or near the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
“The new way finding project will provide all visitors to this park with a user-friendly tool to quickly and efficiently get to and from the sites and destinations they want to visit,” said Mike Caldwell, the park’s acting superintendent. “With the support of our partner, the Trust for the National Mall, as well as guidance from the National Mall Plan, I’m confident we will raise not only the standards by which parks best communicate to the visitor, but also to make it clear to visitors they are in one of this nation’s national parks.”
The “Extended Map Kiosk” sign dedicated Tuesday was designed to be a “welcome sign” for the National Mall and will be the largest of the way finding program’s eventual 500-sign network. The new kiosk, which is composed of two large panels, includes a “You Are Here” map and orients visitors to the most frequently-visited National Mall attractions. Visitors will also be able to download a free app of this map to their mobile devices.
The way finding project is a $2.2 million effort funded through the National Park Service’s Centennial Initiative and the agency’s partnership with the trust. Established to create more uniform, effective signage in and around the National Mall, the full project includes the design, fabrication and installation of pedestrian way finding and regulatory signage on the National Mall and East Potomac Park. The signs will provide way finding, while preserving open space and viewsheds.
The sign system, when finished, will be composed of approximately 500 signs and includes operational signs (containing regulatory/restrooms/food service information), way finding signs (containing directional signs/map directories information), and identification signs (containing park facilities information).