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Downtown Boise’s wayfinding test ends, sign removed

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For years, the Capital City Development Corporation worked on a project to install a series of signs to help people get around Boise.

A test sign went up in Julia Davis Park in early 2018 – but crews removed it last fall.

CCDC staff and board members started work on the project way back in 2013 – finally culminating in the prototype installation.

Under the plan, crews plant a series of tree-like signs around Downtown and beyond. Significant work went into designing the signs and working out how to break the city down into navigable bits.

In all, 180 signs and medallions would have been installed, costing more than $1.5 million. Signs to mark gateway entrances, directional navigation, bike paths, map kiosks and parking all went into the plan.

Boise wayfinding
Wayfinding sign prototypes, proposed by CCDC.

CCDC worked out a license agreement with the Ada County Highway District and City of Boise for the test sign. At a meeting two months after installation, CCDC and city staff discussed the project. The urban renewal agency said the group came to consensus on holding off on the larger project. Concerns included the size of the sign, maintenance, what points of interest made the cut for each sign and leveraging technology among others.

In September, the test sign came down went into storage. The current version of the agency’s capital improvement plan no longer includes funding for the project.

CCDC leaders say the project could come back to life if board members or other stakeholders want to revisit it.

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