Wayfinding Debate

Wayfinding Debate

Millions of tourists visit Allen County every year. Now, leaders with the city of Fort Wayne want to help those visitors navigate our city with ease--by installing new wayfinding signs.
 

Millions of tourists visit Allen County every year.  Now, leaders with the city of Fort Wayne want to help those visitors navigate our city with ease--by installing new wayfinding signs.

However, Fort Wayne City Council recently voted against a plan to bring 54 new signs to the city.  

“We get about five-million visitors a year into Allen County and they spend about $ 500million,” said Dan O’Connell president/CEO, VisitFortWayne. 

O’Connell wants those visitors to keep coming, but he wants to make it easier for them to navigate the city. 

“It’s difficult to get around Fort Wayne because there isn’t any sufficient signage to get them to the place they want to go to,” said O’Connell. 

O'connel is in favor of the cities recent proposal to add 54 new wayfinding signs. 

The legacy project comes with a price tag of $200,000. That plan was recently shot down by The City Council.

“So we are kind of back to the drawing board with what we will be doing with the way finding signs,” said John Perlich, City of Fort Wayne. 

O’Connell says the lacks of wayfinding signs are costing the city money--but Fort Wayne City Councilman Mitch Harper says the signs are a thing of the past.   

“This is not a complete wayfinding system, it’s not an integrated one.  It’s not one that's designed to integrate with new applications and new technologies,” said Harper,” (R-4th). 

Harper and O’Connell agree that if a wayfinding system were to be introduced---that the businesses that reap the benefits of the signage, should have to cover some of the cost. 

“If you offer free goods everyone will clamor to have it.  I believe we can have something that protects tax payers by having a contribution,” said Harper.   

However,  the city administration doesn't see it that way.

“We don't see this as an advertising tool for these agencies we see it as ability for visitors to find their way around our city,” said Perlich.    

“We need to find a way to fund building these new signs that are needed to get people to where they need to go,” said O’Connell. 

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