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Downtown Wayfinding Project

Where is Downtown Renton?

The Downtown Wayfinding project will guide people into and around the Downtown area, better connect Downtown with The Landing, and enhance the Downtown identity. 

The City of Renton is dedicated to helping more people discover and enjoy Downtown Renton.

Current signage directing people into Downtown is ineffective at informing people traveling on surrounding arterials of the locations of the City’s Downtown core.  The one-way streets and limited existing directional signage have increased complexity for auto and pedestrian traffic.  Many visitors to Downtown are unaware of the 900 public parking spaces that are free for two hours.

The City of Renton is dedicated to assist the Downtown to address these problems and take advantage of opportunities as Downtown continues to revitalize.

The first phase of Downtown Wayfinding signs are now installed.  These “advance directional” signs guide visitors from The Landing to Downtown.  The signs were designed in collaboration between the City, businesses and residents as part of the Downtown Wayfinding System project. 

What’s happened so far?

  • City Council approved a contract to hire Sea Reach Ltd., wayfinding experts, to create a system to address the needs of Downtown Renton
  • Public meetings were held to gather ideas from businesses and the community regarding the unmet needs and opportunities for signage in Downtown.  Input gathered included:
    • Better identify Downtown’s entrances and parking
    • Clean up current ineffective and confusing signage
    • Highlight destinations including the Farmers Market and IKEA Performing Arts Center
    • Enhance Downtown’s identity as eclectic, artistic and historic
  • A preliminary design was developed to help meet these needs and take advantage of these opportunities.  This design was developed to meet highway standards and ADA compliance as well as creating unique signage for Downtown.  View sign designs. 
  • City Council reviewed the preliminary design and authorized the implementation of the project, pending further feedback from the public
  • An Open House was held on Monday, October 15 for the public to review and comment on the wayfinding sign designs, sample materials, colors, and artistic elements.  Listed below are materials from the Open House:
  • Advance directional signs have been installed on Garden Ave N, Logan Ave N (4 locations) and on Airport Way to guide people from The Landing and other locations into Downtown
  • The remainder of the Downtown Wayfinding System is fully designed but due to funding challenges, manufacture and installation of the remainder of the system has been put on hold.

Please send questions or comments to Economic Development or call 425.430.6589.


What is wayfinding?
Wayfinding is the travel between the origin and a known destination, without knowledge of the actual path to take.  Wayfinding works best when one is provided the information needed at key decision points.  Wayfinding requires a series of information to guide people to their destination.  It does not work to provide all the information at once – people often will either not be able to read all the information or remember the information.  It is important to provide information along the way.

Why does Downtown need a Wayfinding system?
As Renton continues to grow, the City recognizes the importance of the traditional Downtown core to current and new residents alike.  One-way streets and inconsistent signage confuses new visitors to Downtown.  A wayfinding system will ease this travel and encourage people to enjoy all that Downtown has to offer.

What will the signs look like?

Downtown Advanced Directional 1    Advanced directional signage – Advanced directional signs will be installed along Rainier Ave S, Logan Ave N and Bronson Way to provide initial directions to Downtown Renton.  Currently signage does not exist or is too small for drivers to read.   The advanced directional signs will be colorful, clear and concise to read.

   Downtown Gateway 
Gateways – When people drive into Downtown, it is important to welcome visitors and make them aware they are entering a special place.  The gateways will provide an opportunity to highlight the history and current assets of Downtown.


 Downtown Directional Downtown directional signage – Downtown directional signs will guide people to destinations and public parking areas within the Downtown area.   These signs are colorful, clear and concise to read.



 Downtown Parking1
Parking signage – Parking signs will clearly identify the public parking lots throughout Downtown.   Visitors will be directed to lots and areas which total over 900 free public parking spaces in Downtown.
 Downtown Kiosk
Kiosks – Kiosks will provide pedestrians additional information about the area as well as provide a map to guide them to their destination.



 Downtown Pedestrian
Pedestrian directional signage – Pedestrian directional signs will provide people strolling through Downtown more information about the destinations in the area.  It will also provide the distance and walking surface to the location.  The different destinations will be color-coded for parks, public buildings, and other destinations.

What information was presented at the October Open House?