Pointing the way to confusion

Pedestrian signs may baffle drivers

November 03, 2003|By Aron Davidowitz | Aron Davidowitz,SUN STAFF

Getting to and from the many cultural attractions in and around the city's historic Mount Vernon area has just gotten easier for those traveling on foot. In some cases, though, those in cars might do a doubletake.

As part of a $1.6 million effort jointly spearheaded by the Mount Vernon Cultural District and the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, more than 100 of the green, blue and white directional signs are being installed throughout the downtown area.

The signs, termed "Pedestrian Way Finding Signage," are clearly intended for visitors walking the area. The type is sized to be easily read from a nearby distance, and white arrows point the way to lists of tourist attractions, cultural venues and even nearby light rail stations.

At least one set of signs, though, at the corner of Calvert and Centre streets, could prove confusing to motorists seeking directions. The arrows on those signs point tourists west up Centre Street to several attractions. But for drivers, Centre Street runs one way heading east.

Michael Evitts, director of public relations for the Downtown Partnership, thinks any confusion will be minimal at most.

"They are meant to complement existing vehicular signs already in place," said Evitts. "The signs are formatted in such a way that if you drive by in a car, that lettering is [too] small."

Along with the street signs, 10 informational kiosks also are being erected around the area. These larger displays will "help put the buildings and landmarks into context," said Evitts, aiding those without guidebooks by detailing the area's history and helping them navigate from landmark to landmark.

Sun staff writer Laura Vozzella contributed to this article.

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