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Wayfinding Projects

What is an Action?


An Action is the smallest, most concrete recommendation made in the Master Plan. An Action can be a policy, project, program, partnership, plan, study, or advocacy position. They can be City lead or sponsored by outside organizations. Actions are combined in Initiatives to achieve Goals.

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Downtown redevelopment and major road infrastructure projects have destroyed much of Trenton’s traditional urban fabric. The street pattern is a composition of competing grids and radial routes approaching from all directions. As a result, Trenton is a City that is often difficult to comprehend and navigate. Broad Street and State Street have strong identities across the city, but their changing orientations can be confusing. Additional confusion is caused by occasional one-way streets and by streets changing names (See Legibility Study). Without a comprehensive and easy-to-understand wayfinding system, entering Trenton can be very confusing and lead people to avoid the City and/or not explore it more fully.

The City must undertake a plan to develop a comprehensive wayfinding system for the City. Of central importance to the wayfinding system is connecting people to the City’s trails and to historical and cultural attractions. Wayfinding elements must serve all users: Signage for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists serves the important function of helping to orient people to their surroundings. Feeling oriented in a place increases comfort and satisfaction and increases frequency of use. Generally, signage should be placed regularly along designated routes and at decision points. Design should be consistent and understandable by the widest group of people possible, and messaging should be concise. Previously recommended wayfinding signage, developed for the Trenton Station Linkage Plan provides a good starting point for a city-wide signage program.

linkage wayfinding

linkage wayfinding
Pedestrian Wayfinding
Many places are overhauling signage for pedestrians to be more user friendly. These are extremely useful in tourist areas where many are unfamiliar with the area.
Historic Wayfinding
As noted in the Physically Connecting Arts and Culture Assets Initiative, the City should use wayfinding as a way of reinforcing its historic assets. For example, the City should consider reinforcing is the historical “triangle” in downtown and creating a “Historic Corridor” along Warren Street from the Battle Monument past State St. and down brick-topped Front Street to the Old Barracks.
Signage for Bicyclists
Clear signage along bicycle or mixed traffic routes can lead bicyclists to key destinations. These signs can also include distance and/or approximate travel times and alert drivers to increased bicycle traffic along these routes.
In addition to gateway signage, frequent trail signage, markers, and maps should be clearly visible along the trail and easy to read. Signage that leads users to a trail is also important. An example of this is the Delaware River Heritage Trail signs within the city of Bordentown, which lead people to the trail gateway.
The wayfinding system must help motorists who exit off of Route 1 or enter the City through major gateways quickly find their destinations within the City. Other efforts may focus on making key routes easily identifiable. Roadway Banners should be used to emphasize corridors as they change orientation. For example, Broad Street could have a signage or banner system that makes it easy to recognize and follow, even as it changes orientation.
Source: South Broad Street Vision Plan, City of Trenton, August 2013

broad arches

broad arches
Transit Wayfinding
Another critical area in need of wayfinding is the Trenton Transit Center, which feels disconnected from downtown, due to the barrier created by Route 1 (See Transit Center Connectivity Projects). Transit wayfinding should focus on ways to move through the city with maps indicating the way to reach destinations that include transfers. The City should work with NJ Transit to create a Capital City Regional Transit Map that can be easily interpreted and help people reach desired destinations.
Signage as Marketing
Trenton should market itself as walkable, bikeable and transit accessible. The City can push this marketing out into the streetscape by including themes on their wayfinding signage. For example, wayfinding designed for pedestrians could include a “Walk Trenton” theme, with branding tied to a City-wide marketing program.

Case Study

CCD's Ride Philadelphia program is an excellent example of transit wayfinding. Maps are located in the transit shelters, and since they are in a fixed location, they are oriented to the direction the viewer is facing. The maps use a limited color scheme, with blue lines indicating routes on the current street, and red indicating routes on intersecting streets.





CCD's Walk!Philadelphia is a good example for pedestrian wayfinding. Both programs match styles and are complementary methods of wayfinding.

walk philadelphia

walk philadelphia
Details of Wayfinding Projects



Supporting Departments:

Department Of Housing And Economic Development

Partnering Organizations:

Nj Transit

Trenton Downtown Association




West District

South District

East District

North District

Downtown District

Topic Focused Report: