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Zionsville Leaders Seeking Input for Wayfinding Plan Initiative

Photography Provided

The Town of Zionsville leaders are seeking the input of residents to set a community enhancement initiative in motion. The Getting Around Zionsville wayfinding plan will benefit residents, guests and business owners through a signage program. Key to the plan’s success will be information gathered to ensure people are not only directed to their destinations, but also to sites they may have otherwise missed.

A wayfinding plan implements consistent symbols, colors, logos and printed content that guide vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians to points of interest. It’s a tool used in many communities across the United States, and it can enhance quality of living while boosting business traffic by creating a predictable and consistent means of navigation. According to Wayne DeLong, planning and economic development director, it’s something that many people in the town have wanted to implement for some time.

Wayfinding“The people of the community indicated that it’s something they would like to see the town do,” DeLong says. “It has been an early initiative for Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron. We conducted a national search for a consulting firm that helps set up these services, and chose E. Holdings from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.”

Styron adds that initiatives like the wayfinding plan tend to arise from problems in need of solutions.

“I was down in Bloomington with my daughter,” Styron says. “Every side street and every junction had a sign pole that encouraged other opportunities to spend money and time. We don’t have those suggestions in Zionsville. The wayfinding plan will serve unmet needs people didn’t know they had.”

The goal is to bring attention to local businesses, parks, trailheads and attractions. There are several opportunities for anyone who lives in Zionsville, owns a business or has an interest in the area’s amenities, to make their voice heard regarding what should be included.

A short survey can be accessed on the project website, GettingAroundZville.com. Two public meetings at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. will take place at Zionsville Town Hall on Thursday, January 28. In addition, Owen Young, project manager with the Town of Zionsville, welcomes comments and questions.

“This is definitely a community involvement effort,” DeLong says. “The reaction so far is phenomenal. The amount of feedback and participation has outpaced all of our expectations. After the data is gathered, the consultant firm will quantify it and work from there. It’s also noteworthy that this initiative dovetails with other projects that are in the works.”

Town leaders hope the wayfinding plan will unite and draw the community even closer together. The Big-4 Rail Trail connects neighborhoods to the business district, but people don’t always have a clear concept of how long it might take to walk or bike from one point to another. Signage could potentially solve this problem, and bring customers to stores and restaurants in town.

“Wayfinding is very literally how to find out-of-the-way places,” Styron says. “As humans we get into habits and patterns. We are likely to travel the same way to work, church or school. Unless someone invites you to a park or a trailhead, we don’t get out of usual travel routes. With posted signs, we might think, ‘Hey, there is something I really might enjoy down this way.’”

For more information and to contribute input, visit GettingAroundZville.com. For questions, contact Owen Young by calling 317-495-8396 or emailing oyoung@zionsville-in.gov.

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