Wayfinding overview

By on April 11, 2011

DEI, in partnership with the Borough of Ephrata and the Ephrata Area Chamber of Commerce, will hold a special meeting April 13 at 5:30 p.m. at Ephrata Main Theatre regarding downtown signage. The topic will focus on PennDOT s introduction of a new system of identifying and placing signs, specifically for tourism oriented destinations (or TODs). The signage system is known as wayfinding, because the system takes into account not just the look of the sign, but where the signs should be placed, how many should be placed within a corridor and how that look and placement will complement the area. TODs and other businesses that want to be a part of this new system will need to apply to PennDOT for approval to be represented on signage. If approved, there will be a financial commitment required from the business over multiple years. Those blue and white signs currently identifying TODs will come down shortly (as well as signage that was placed without previous PennDOT approval), and those TODs and other businesses will have to reapply, with no assurances that they will be approved. Ephrata is a county-designated tourism destination area (TDA). Appropriately, the town recently began the development of a wayfinding system of its own capitalizing on this designation. A consultant was hired and a review committee established to oversee the design of signage that was unique and appropriate for Ephrata, as well as its placement throughout the borough. Ephrata also submitted its interest to the state in applying for the status of a sign district, which would cede much of PennDOT s control to the borough. However, just how much control PennDOT will cede when implementing its own wayfinder system is still unclear. This process and developing a system is of great concern to DEI because it could significantly affect downtown Ephrata (and the other historic downtowns who are also designated TODs). This meeting on April 13 will address all of these issues, answer questions businesses may have, and offer sources to review the State guidelines, application and fees. Everyone is welcome, and encouraged, to come and hear more. For more information, call 738-5060. More WAYFINDING, page A18

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