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Urban Directionals

The following query from a reader by the name of Shawn regards wayfinding signage in the city of Buffalo. Last year I posted on the Garden Walk’s efforts to construct informational sign poles that are attractive and useful. This year the organization bolted one of the sign poles to a sidewalk on Connecticut, which is where it still remains (see lead image). Following is the question posed:

“I was recently in Ellicottville for the first time and I noticed one simple thing that can be easily and cheaply replicated on Elmwood; street sign styled placards with the names of each business in each direction.  There aren’t too many spots where a four-way sign would be needed [think Lexington, Bryant, etc).  On top of being useful it adds to the uniformity of the area making it more village like.  If cost is a factor, the Elmwood Village Association could just charge [willing] businesses a nominal fee for having their names up there.”

This discussion has come up a number of times. I recently wrote about new kiosks that have appeared on Elmwood Avenue (see here) with maps inserted, but there are always additional grassroots and commercial wayfinding opportunities to explore. I’m a big fan of the simple sign found on Connecticut Street. It might be more complicated to pull this off on Elmwood (so many businesses), but it could be helpful to switch up the businesses with districts (Five Points, Allentown, West Side, waterfront, Black Rock, Medical Campus, nearby parks). It would also be helpful to denote the businesses that are found just outside the Elmwood Strip. Of course this applies to other commercial strips such as Amherst Street and Grant Street (where the “North Pole”-style directionals would work quite well for the business community.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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