ENCINITAS — Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists could find their way around downtown Encinitas a little easier if the City Council approves a series of new “wayfinding” signs and monuments proposed by the Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association.
The City Council is considering approving the monument and directional sign network at its Aug. 15 City Council meeting.
The freshly designed signs and monuments would guide visitors to destinations such as the beach, parking lots, City Hall and the library; landmarks such as the Boat Houses; preferred bike routes and the downtown business district.
Most prominent among the new signs would be three so-called “monument signs,” located at the northern and southern edge of downtown at Coast Highway 10 and Encinitas Boulevard and the Santa Fe Pedestrian undercrossing, respectively, and one at the corner of Vulcan Avenue and Encinitas Avenue, the vehicular gateway to downtown.
The sleek design includes an option of either a sheet rock or cobblestone base and a gold lotus akin to the one atop the Self Realization Fellowship would sit atop the three monument signs.
Encinitas 101, which represents downtown’s merchants and businesses and promotes the city’s core, created the new monuments as part of a $15,000 grant it received in October 2017 from the San Diego County Neighborhood Reinvestment Program.
According to a city staff report, residents have frequently complained to Encinitas 101 about the lack of a cohesive directional sign network in downtown.
“The current signs, including parking and historical signs, are sparse and not comprehensive,” the city staff report states.
The group’s board of directors in January 2018 established a Wayfinding Committee — which included board members and interested members of the public — that coordinated the design efforts and locations of the various signs.
Encinitas 101’s board approved the proposal on June 20. If the City Council approves it, it would accept the signs and monuments as a donation, but would have to determine how to pay for future sign replacement and maintenance.
“E101 is thrilled that our Wayfinding signs and monument designs are going to City Council for approval this month,” said Irene Pyun, the group’s executive director. “As an organization that promotes downtown businesses, it is important to have effective signage that helps visitors navigate the town.”
Pyun said the signs have a tangible financial benefit to the city.
“Wayfinding signs improve the local economy by encouraging exploration of an urban area while providing useful information to make the urban experience more enjoyable,” Pyun said. “We are excited to put a modern twist on the designs to reflect our unique beach town.”