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City creates new system for navigation signage
A mockup of one of the specially designed wayfinding signs incorporates a mural on the bottom as well as a weather vane on top. Photo courtesy of the city of Frisco.
The city of Frisco is going to make navigating streets easier in the coming weeks and months.
About 130 new signs will be installed in the city beginning next month as part of a new wayfinding system, which the city hopes to complete in time for the NCAA Division I Football Championship game on Jan. 5.
Unlike the signs used by most cities, Frisco's will feature specially designed decorations to show visitors a part of the city's heritage. One design, for instance, will feature a metal weather mane with a horse emblem on top along with a mural of a ranch on the pedestal.
Other designs will indicate the city's railroad history, among other topics.
Brian Moen, the city's assistant director of engineering services, said the new system will help visitors better navigate the city, as the designs will be attention-getting.
"When the group [in charge of the wayfinding program] gave our developers information, they made it clear they wanted something that showed the traditional values of Frisco while also being contemporary," Moen said. "They wanted something that would stand out from what people see in other cities across the state."
Signs in the new wayfinding system will also be color coded to indicate one of two kinds of locations, called "districts." City Hall, downtown Frisco, FC Dallas and other locations in that area will be grouped into the first district, the "Center City District," which will feature green signs.
A second district -- the "Stonebriar District" -- is comprised of the Stonebriar Centre Mall, the Frisco Conference Center, Dr Pepper Arena, Dr Pepper Ballpark and other locations in that business-centric portion of the city. These locations will feature blue signs.
The colors were carefully chosen to meet state traffic safety guidelines while still being visible. Red, for instance, could not be used for the signs, as that color is reserved for warning signs such as stop signs and do not enter signs.
Marla Roe, executive director of the Frisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the new signage will be a major benefit to visitors of the city.
"I love the motto of the company that developed our wayfinding program, 'People Get Lost. We Fix That,'" she said. "That is exactly what this comprehensive program is designed to do: help our visitors find not only the larger venues like FC Dallas Stadium, Dr Pepper Arena and Dr Pepper Ballpark, but also help them understand the many other assets that Frisco has as a destination that might not be visible on the major roads and intersections."
The use of districts will help drive visitors to major locations in the city, Moen said, and when visitors get closer to those areas they'll see signage for smaller locations.
"With districts, one of the things we can achieve is minimal signage while still getting all our locations accounted for in signage," Moen explained. "This allows us to point to the districts when [travelers] are farther away, they can see things that point to the district, then as they get closer to the district they'll see more and more destinations within it."
Moen added that businesses located within the districts will be able to use the district colors in their marketing to help visitors easily find their way.
Though there are currently only two districts, the city is keeping its options open by leaving room for a third. That third district would likely encompass the retail area by U.S. 380 and the Dallas North Tollway.
Additionally, the new signage could also be expanded to replace existing signs to public locations throughout the city such as schools, Moen said.
"The wayfinding program allows for those signs to be changed, but we haven't finalized whether we'll change those out just yet," he said. "So the green signs you see pointing to things like schools may be changed eventually -- it's possible, but not finalized."