Traverse City, MI

Research showed that travelers were having a difficult time finding the historic core of our very own hometown, Traverse City. The city is known primarily for Front Street, a main shopping district, but businesses and the Traverse City DDA wanted to connect visitors to all three downtown districts, giving each equal importance. Building awareness would drive traffic within and between each.

The design needed to stand out visually, be cost-effective and require minimum maintenance. We worked with the Michigan DOT to guide visitors from surrounding roadways into each of the districts via main gateways. From there, we direct internally to primary destinations and parking.

Pedestrian elements direct between main streets to beaches, marina, recreational and civic destinations. Pedestrian kiosks feature merchant directories and event information; the DDA has budgeted for regular changes on a set schedule; low-cost impregnated fiberglass products keep maintenance costs down.

Overall the system has been extremely well received. Our client said he’s never worked on an initiative that received such an immediate outpouring of positive commentary, from merchants, residents and those all-important tourists!

The wayfinding program is one of the Downtown Traverse City Association's main benefits of membership. The merchants see value in it.

- Executive Director ‚ÄčTraverse City Downtown Development Authority