Arlington County's new "wayfinding" signs going up.

Within the last two weeks or so, Arlington County has restarted its placement of signs along the multi-use trails.  I am very pleased to see that, for the most part, they meet the first and most important criterion of a sign--to tell you where you are.  My previous post on this issue criticizes "wayfinding" signs for not adhering to this extremely simple and common sense dictum.

I also blogged last year when the County piloted a few of these signs.  Based on what I am seeing, it seems some of the issues I raised are being noted.  So far, these signs are a big improvement over anything I have previously seen pretty much anywhere.

They have marked most of the trail/street intersections with the street names.  So people leaving the trail can now know what street they are on when they exit. Those approaching the trail see signs that say "Custis Trail," so both people entering and exiting know where they are.  Good.

The signs also include destinations and distances, which is commonplace along highways, but rare along trails.  So far, the signs are found at fairly regular intervals, so it easy to track your progress and to feel comfortable that you are traveling in the right direction.

I am 90% pleased with these signs.  I have a couple of small quibbles, which I will pass along to the project manager.   My major criticism is that the destination "Washington DC" does not appear enough.  Especially along the Custis Trail, DC is probably the most frequent destination of cyclists.  I noted two signs near Courthouse and Rosslyn that identified Washington, DC, but none farther out.  Hopefully--and importantly--the signage at the intersection of the W&OD and the Custis Trail will include that key destination.

I'll keep an eye on these signs as they continue to go up.  It's exciting to see this project progress, and it will be a notable improvement over the dated, missing and not-so-useful signs we have now. 

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