Downtown Chapel Hill

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New Wayfinding Signs Help You To Get Downtown!

 From Town of Chapel Hill e-News:

Wayfinding Sign small

Welcome to Chapel Hill! It's about to get easier to find your way around the southern part of heaven.  Crews are installing signs as part of a new vehicular way-finding signage project launched by the Town of Chapel Hill.


The first signs to be installed now through the end of May will direct motorists coming in to Chapel Hill from I-40 along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to downtown. Another set of signs will be installed in May from U.S. 15-501 and Southern Village into downtown.


Additional signs in the way-finding program will direct motorists from all entry points into Chapel Hill, and in both directions.


Eventually there will be a total of about 40 way-finding signs to guide people into downtown, the University area including the hospital and sporting attractions, and other key attractions such as parks and community centers. The project is just one piece of the Town's efforts to improve signage for residents and visitors, as directed by the Town Council.


"This is a result of the Council's interest in improved signage and an outgrowth of joint discussions between the Town and University in publicizing our mutual assets as a boost to the Town's economic development," said Town Manager Roger Stancil.


The scope of this project is limited to signs that will direct automobile traffic to the general destinations in Chapel Hill. Future projects will address pedestrian-scale signs and parking signs, especially in downtown.


Approved by the NC Department of Transportation, the reflective test signs feature a Carolina blue color with the hilly skyline of Chapel Hill and the Town seal. The cost of the project is about $15,000 to manufacture and install the signs. UNC Health Care and UNC-Chapel Hill may supplement Town funds for future improvements.


"During the pilot phase of the wayfinding program last fall, we discovered that the signage color needed some adjustment," Engineering Services Manager Kumar Neppalli said. "The improved signs are more visible day or night."


The project was coordinated by a committee of Town of Chapel Hill staff members reporting to Town Manager Roger Stancil and collaborating with the Downtown Partnership, the Chapel Hill-Orange County Visitors Bureau, UNC Visitors' Center, UNC Health Care, UNC-Chapel Hill and the NC Botanical Garden. Committee members took a series of road trips around town to determine where new signs were needed and where existing signs could be improved.


The project stems from Council direction, which tasked staff to develop a "comprehensive directional/informational sign plan" for Chapel Hill roadways. Portions of that project have been completed with district delineation signs including watershed protection districts, town limit signs, rural buffer signs, and replacing many street name signs.


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