The Signage Locations initiative relates to the Muncie Action Plan (MAP) Initiative 3: Strengthening Pride and Image. It also relates to Initiative 4: Creating Attractive and Desirable Places. Both initiatives aim to improve a community’s image or identity and to promote pride among its residents. Placing more signs around Industry will contribute to its branding and marketing, and will promote tourism. Through Initiative 3, Signage Locations relates specifically to Action 3: Complete the installation of wayfinding signs as detailed in the Wayfinding Signage Plan. The need to establish and keep more wayfinding signs around Industry neighborhood reflects the overall goal of installing these signs around the Muncie community and developing a long-term program to maintain them. Through Initiative 4, Signage Locations relates specifically to Action 4: Adopt and enforce updated corridor development standards. It also relates to Action 7: Improve the appearance of city gateways. Adopting and updating corridor development standards will allow better regulations for placement of signs around the Muncie community. It will reinforce the placement and maintenance of signs around Industry. Also, a sign used as an entrance of a neighborhood such as Industry will help create a welcoming place for everyone to live, play, or visit.
Why this is important
The Signage Locations initiative was created through an initial initiative suggested by Industry residents during the first neighborhood meeting on January 22, 2015. The primary suggestion was to remove the unsafe image of the neighborhood or decrease the negative perception of Industry as dangerous. Out of the 46 survey respondents, 10 would like to see improvements in signage. One resident commented that there should be more street signs and speed limit signs in the neighborhood. The idea is to improve the neighborhood’s identity and make it more of a welcoming atmosphere. Therefore, signage contributes to the beautification of Industry and helps brand or market the neighborhood to recruit more residents and visitors to the area. It will help smooth the mobility of pedestrian and vehicular traffic and increase safety. Applying Muncie’s wayfinding plan to Industry will help visitors who are not familiar with the neighborhood to have a sense of place. Wayfinding signage in the neighborhood will create an inviting atmosphere and properly inform visitors to seamlessly navigate around the community and arrive at their destinations. This initiative received a low priority rating by residents and students at the March neighborhood meeting. While this initiative is no less important than the others, residents will most likely take action on this after the high and medium priority initiatives.
What this will involve
“Signage” in this initiative primarily relates to wayfinding signage such as banners, informational signs, and other decorative or aesthetic features that make traveling and arriving at destinations easier for pedestrians and drivers (See Figure 1). These types of signs help to improve a community’s identity and create inviting spaces for residents and visitors. Signage also refers to street signs that are installed and maintained by the City of Muncie through the Department of Public Works (DPW). Some of these signs are stop signs, directional signs, speed limit signs, street name signs, et cetera. Residents can contact the DPW to report street signs that are missing or deteriorated in order to fix the issues. The strong presence of these signs contributes to making a community safe and accessible, thus helping to remove any misconception of it as dangerous.
The Industry Neighborhood Association (INA) would likely be involved in not only the installation and maintenance of an entrance sign, but associated plants as well such as shrubs and flowers. The design of any signage should include similar elements to other signs throughout the city for consistency in which they are a part of the design guidelines of Muncie’s Wayfinding Signage Plan. Residents can work together in designing the welcoming sign, choosing the materials necessary construction, and choosing the best location for placement. Once a design has been chosen, it will be forwarded to the City Council for approval. The INA can hire also hire a contractor to install the sign to city standards. However, residents can be a part of the installation process by planting flowers and shrubs, digging a hole to place sign, and filling the hole with construction sand or other foundation materials. Prior to the establishment of banners, they must be approved by proper right-of-way use permits, which are issued through the DPW. When the design and location of the banners are approved, the Department will install the banners upon request.
Funding for an entrance sign can be found through neighborhood association fees or fundraisers. Funding for wayfinding signage in general can be found through grants provided by the Ball Brothers Foundation, the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, and the Gannett Foundation (associated with the Star Press). These funding options also apply to the installation of plants around a welcome sign.
Contact information for funding/assistance sources
Ball Brothers Foundation
222 S. Mulberry St
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (765) 741-5500
Contact: Donna Munchel, Grant Process Manager
Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County
201 E. Jackson Street
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (765) 747-7181
Fax: (765) 289-7770
Contact: Cheryl Decker, Executive Assistant
The Star Press
345 South High Street
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (765) 213-5701
Contact: Ms. Cheryl Lindus, General Manager and Advertising Director
Department of Public Works (DPW)
5790 W. Kilgore Ave.
Muncie, IN 47304
Phone: (765) 747-4847
Contact: Mr. Duke Campbell, Superintendent
This initiative applies to all parts of Industry. The suitability map for signage identifies the most suitable, moderately suitable, and least suitable spots for the installations of wayfinding signage (See Figure 2). Wayfinding signage would best be installed along major corridors (such as Willard, Kirby, and Hackley) or local roads that are within busy areas and will attract residents and visitors (represented in green). Street Lights are moderately suitable for the installation of banners and other similar decorative signage (represented in yellow). Also, shown in yellow are local roads that have less vehicle traffic, but are fairly suitable for signage installations. Wayfinding signage or any other decorative signage is not suitable in areas that are not near the public right-of-way or can not be visible from sidewalks or streets (represented in red). For city street signage, the current conditions will have to be identified through inventory analysis in order to locate missing and/or deteriorated signs.
Case Study One: Lake Forest Neighborhood, Knoxville, TN
Lake Forest neighborhood is a community in Knoxville, Tennessee that established an entrance sign, which symbolizes its architectural history, in late 2014 (See Figure 3). During the 1800s, the Tennessee marble was in high demand in East Tennessee and was heavily extracted from the Knoxville region, which left behind many quarries in the area. The Lake Forest Neighborhood Association collaborated with Ijams Nature Center (which donated a marble sign to the neighborhood to function as its welcome sign) and the city of Knoxville. Volunteers from the neighborhood organization dug a hole and filled it with construction sand while the city provided heavy equipment operators and labor to install the welcome sign. Trees and plants were planted around the marble and were donated by the Knoxville Botanical Garden.
The new welcome sign allows the neighborhood’s history to be told to visitors as many of its homes are constructed by Tennessee Pink Marble. There is a trail nearby that is named after the marble. The sign was designed by a resident who lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years. There is a total of 35 quarries in East Tennessee and only one is still in operation. Many of the marbles from the quarries were used for famous monuments such as the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. The rarity of these marbles is what makes Lake Forest a unique and attractive place to visitors. The new sign welcomes visitors not only to the neighborhood, but also to Knoxville’s history.
Case Study Two: City of Alexandria, VA
In 2010, the city of Alexandria completed development of a citywide Wayfinding Design Guidelines Manual to achieve the implementation of a comprehensive citywide signage system (See Figure 4). The system will provide a consistent image for the city and promote walking, bicycling, and the use of mass transit. A Wayfinding Stakeholder Advisory Group provided input to the city and consultant team and served as a liaison to the community. On September 7, 2010, the Planning Commission, approved the Design Guidelines Manual.
Implementation of the Wayfinding Program has been led by the Department of Transportation and Environmental Services with support from the Department of Planning & Zoning. The program has been implemented in phases and Phase 1, which is now completed, included the installations of parking related wayfinding signs in Old Town, the historic center. Phase 2, which is slated for completion in 2014-2015, will include pedestrian-oriented signage in Old Town.