GREAT FALLS — New wayfinding signs are now being installed across Great Falls. They’re meant to help guide people to points of interest around the city.
The Great Falls Business Improvement District said in a news release on Wednesday that with the completion of the community-led Wayfinding Planning process in the fall of 2020, and formal approval of the Plan by the City Commission on April 6, 2021, the BID conducted a public bidding process and contracted with MT Lines in the fall of 2021 for fabrication and installation of the signs.
Now the installation of 57 motorist signs and 20 pedestrian signs is officially underway.
“I can't even express how exciting it is because so many people don't know how much work goes on behind the scenes, how much takes place before you get to do some of these things,” said Joan Redeen, Great Falls Business Improvement District Community Director. "I think that the impact on this is huge for the community as a whole for so many reasons.”
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(DECEMBER 18, 2020) After a year of work, the Great Falls Wayfinding Plan is complete and ready to be implemented. Wayfinding simply means providing directions and information to let people know what the community has to offer and how to get there. The city-wide directional program includes signage for both drivers and pedestrians to more than 40 destinations in town. The 116-page document includes design images for 63 motor signs, 17 pedestrian signs, and up to 10 digital kiosks.
“The digital kiosks will be a little more high tech. They’ll be in locations like the Civic Center and probably on the fairgrounds and folks will be able to have some interaction with those digital kiosks,” explained Joan Reeden with the Great Falls Business Improvement District.
While the signs will help visitors navigate town, they’ll also shed light on all the community has to offer.
“For me, this is going to provide a huge boost in self-esteem for our community. And I see that because there are individuals who live here, who have lived here for years, who still don’t know all the amazing and wonderful assets we have to offer and suddenly they’re going to see a sign and say I didn’t know that…we need to check that out,” Redeen said.
Redeen is working to secure more funding and grants. She hopes the signs can start being installed in the Spring of 2021.
By providing prominent, appealing signage, many who would otherwise simply travel through Great Falls or those who are not familiar with the area, will learn about the services, destinations and points of interest that are available. The wayfinding plan will help residents and visitors easily navigate the city and the surrounding area and readily find attractions and available services such as schools, healthcare facilities, museums & exhibits, public parking, public restrooms, parks, trails, galleries, library, city and county offices, police department, etc.
The plan cost just under $70,000. Implementation of the plan is expected to cost at least $80,000. Funding for the program came from a grant from the MT Department of Commerce’s Main Street Program, the Downtown Tax Increment Financing District, the Great Falls Business Improvement District, Visit Great Falls, the Downtown Development Partnership, Great Falls Development Authority, the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Great Falls Association. The BID contracted with Cushing Terrell in the creation of the plan.