Pedestrian Wayfinding for Downtown Long Beach

The Downtown Long Beach Alliance is managing the design and installation of 12 new pedestrian signs on sidewalks throughout Downtown. Anticipated to be installed by Fall 2020, there are several desired outcomes that the DLBA has established, in partnership with the City of Long Beach:

1.     Assist visitors with navigating Downtown and enhance the visitor experience, which in turn supports Downtown businesses.
2.     Enhance efforts to create a unified identity for Downtown Long Beach.
3.     Improve pedestrian connectivity within Downtown, particularly between the Downtown Core, the Waterfront, East Village and West Gateway.

This sign program, in partnership with the City of Long Beach Public Works, is a part of the City’s comprehensive wayfinding upgrade which began back in 2016. The DLBA began working with the City of Long Beach to develop a comprehensive wayfinding signage system that includes new gateway entries into the City, signs directing visitors to Downtown parking structures, pedestrian signage and maps to help visitors navigate Downtown, and signs identifying waterfront access points. The new wayfinding system will help promote Long Beach’s identity, make it easier for visitors to find their way around Downtown, and enhance the visitor experience.

Community Vision and Stakeholder Engagement

An extensive outreach effort was made to include a Wayfinding Signage Program Survey, and a series of community workshops for the public to provide input on the factors to consider in designing new signs to be installed in the public realm throughout the City. The outreach was intended to ensure that the design template for these new signs reflects the community’s values and identity, and results in cohesive and functional signage for gateway entries to the City and coastal access, as well as public parking in Downtown.

During the course of the project Downtown stakeholders have had an opportunity to provide input through a series of community workshops, including the July 21, 2016 and April 26, 2017 Public Realm Committee meetings, and an online survey.

DTLB Wayfinding Presentation – April 2017
City-wide Wayfinding Program
Wayfinding Survey Results

Project Timeline

  • June 2016 – Project Kick-off
  • July 2016 – Stakeholder Workshop at DLBA Public Realm Committee meeting
  • Fall 2016 – City-side Wayfinding Survey
  • Fall 2016 – Wayfinding sign design
  • April 2017 – Comprehensive City-wide Wayfinding Sign Program presentation at City Council
  • April 2017 – Pedestrian Wayfinding Program Presentation at Public Realm Committee
  • May 2017 – Finalize pedestrian sign location plan
  • May 2017 – Finalize pedestrian sign message schedule
  • May 2017 – Prepare cost estimates for construction, installation, and sign removal
  • July 2017 – Return to Public Realm Committee to present Final Pedestrian Wayfinding Program
  • December 2017 – Complete pedestrian sign design drawings
  • Fall 2018 – Release Phase 1 RFP for 12 signs
  • Winter 2018 – Contractor selected
  • Fall 2019 – Design Development approved
  • Winter 2019 – Engineered drawings finalized
  • Summer 2020 – Finalize permit, begin fabrication
  • Fall 2020 – Complete installation and punchlist items

Explore DTLB Sidewalk Decal Project

Downtown Long Beach (DTLB) will now find some of its sidewalks adorned with pedestrian oriented directional decals as a part of a new connectivity project. The “Explore DTLB” sidewalk decal project was initiated by the DLBA’s Public Realm Committee out of a desire to identify tactical and relatively inexpensive solutions to foster pedestrian connectivity within and between DTLB’s neighborhoods. The project aims to encourage on-foot exploration of Downtown’s unique neighborhoods by using bold and distinctive decals strategically placed on Downtown sidewalks.
A total of 50 decals will be temporarily adhered to sidewalks in the Downtown Core, East Village Arts District, Waterfront, and West Gateway neighborhoods. The decals will be in place for a period of 6 months at which point the program will be assessed for possible continuation or expansion. The colorful decals provide pedestrians with directions and estimate walking times to nearby destinations by using universal icons representing coffee, dining, shopping, drinks, and music among others. Let’s explore Downtown Long Beach!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have a question on that is not answered below please email our Placemaking Manager, Mariah Hoffman.
How long will the decals be installed for?
The sidewalk decals will be installed temporarily as a pilot-project for a period of 6-months. After the 6-month trial period, the decals will be re-evaluated for future use.
Who paid for the decals?
The stakeholders who pay assessments as part of the Private Business Improvement District in Downtown Long Beach managed by the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA).
Why do/ don’t I have a decal in front of my establishment?
Locations were identified in conversations with the DLBA Public Realm Committee, which is a made up of volunteers and Downtown stakeholders.
How do I report a damaged decal?
If you see that a decal is severely damaged, you can email the DLBA Placemaking Manager, mariahh@dlba.org.
Where are the decals installed?
The decals are installed in various locations throughout the Downtown neighborhoods: The Waterfront, Downtown Core, West Gateway, and East Village. Click here for map locations.
What will happen to the decals after the 6-month pilot project ends?
After the 6-month trial period, the “Explore DTLB! Sidewalk Decal Project” will be reevaluated to determine future applications, including the use of decals for public service announcements (PSA’s).
What is the intention behind the decal project?
The project aims to encourage on-foot exploration of Downtown Long Beach’s unique neighborhoods, eclectic clusters of businesses, and unexplored gems.
Where do the decals direct pedestrians?
The decals offer pedestrians estimate walking times and directional icons pointing toward categories such as food, coffee, music, drinks, shopping amongst others.
Who grants permission on the sidewalk in the public right-of-way?
The Public Works Department in the City of Long Beach grants permission through a permitting process for decals in the public right-of-way.
Where do the decals direct pedestrians?
The decals offer pedestrians estimate walking times and directional icons pointing toward categories such as food, coffee, music, drinks, shopping amongst others.
How long does it take to install one decal?
On average, it takes about 15 minutes to install one decal on the sidewalk.
How were the decals designed?
Through an initial call to artists, the firm Jahn’s Designs was selected to design the decals. The shape and color palette of the decals takes reference from the logo of the newly re-branded Downtown Long Beach Alliance and the “1.38 Un-Square Miles” campaign.