Finally finding their way: Downtown could get directional signs soon

The Capital City Development Corporation has been leading an effort to add so-called "wayfinding" signs to Downtown Boise for more than five years.

The Boise Weekly first wrote about the effort in 2013 - but progress was anything but quick.

After a multitude of delays - the project is finally starting to inch forward.

The agency is set to put up a set of signs all across the downtown core and beyond to help make it easier to find top attractions in the City of Trees.

The signs will actually look somewhat like trees - with metalwork designed to look like branches.

They will feature an olive color, with accents of purple, orange and other colors (typical Boise colors like blue and green are harder to use due to federal highway sign standards).

CCDC, the Ada County Highway District and the City of Boise have approved the sign program - and will start with a test sign in front of Julia Davis Park this fall.

The original Boise Weekly story noted that Missoula spent $100,000 on its sign project. The Boise project will cost taxpayers quite a bit more - $1.465 million according to CCDC estimates.

A wide variety of signs are planned:

Gateway

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These large signs would be more than twelve feet tall and would be located at the major entrances to the downtown core. They would extend the tree theme on to the sign face and would feature large "Welcome to Boise" messaging.

Directional

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Downtown would be split into five "zones," which each would be color-coded.

  • The central business district would sport purple
  • The currently largely-vacant western area would go with yellow
  • The area around the Capitol would be deemed North and take on a red hue
  • The eastern part of downtown around St. Luke's would be orange
  • The area south of the Boise River, which includes Boise State and several major parks would be themed in blue.

Bike

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Signs to help bicyclists would be added throughout, giving approximate bike-riding distances to major attractions. These signs would carry the themed district colors.

Map kiosks

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A number of map kiosks are planned, with local areas as well as a downtown-wide map. The samples included in public documents say "City Wide," but only depict downtown.

Parking

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To help drivers find a place to stow their cars, blue parking signs are in the plan.  Smaller pedestrian versions would help folks on foot get back to their cars.

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