Wayfinding is knowing where you are spatially in an environment, knowing where your desired location is, and knowing how to get there from your present location.  It refers to the user experience of orientation and choosing a path within the environment, and it also refers to the set of elements that aid orientation.

Project Background

In January 2013, the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce applied for and received a Strategic Tourism Implementation Grant from the Tompkins County Tourism Program to develop a Wayfinding and Interpretive Signage Plan for Tompkins County, NY. This wayfinding planning project is designed to fill a need in the community and to directly implement one of thirty-seven “Critical Actions” for tourism development identified in the 2020 Tompkins County Strategic Tourism Plan. The Tourism Plan was adopted in September 2012 and guides use of the County’s hotel room occupancy tax funds to support local tourism development and promotion. This project is funded entirely by hotel room occupancy tax.

The Wayfinding & Interpretive Signage Plan being developed for Tompkins County, its towns and villages and the City of Ithaca includes the design of a comprehensive directional and interpretive signage system for pedestrians, bicyclists and automobile users.  The plan will concentrate on the gateway areas into Tompkins County and its municipalities and main routes within the urbanized area that are likely to be travelled by visitors.  The resulting product will provide consistency in the physical design and placement of wayfinding signage county-wide.  The plan is also envisaged to help “build the brand” for the county by directing visitors to and informing them about the county’s attractions and unique places.

Public Input

In order to ensure that the new wayfinding plan reflects the vision of the residents and stakeholders of Tompkins County, the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce has invited the public to participate in the planning process.  The links below provide information from the public workshop(s) held to date.

Wayfinding & Interpretive Signage Plan – Final

The Project Team

peter j. smith & company, inc., an urban planning and urban design firm located in Buffalo, NY, has been retained to develop the plan.  The project is being led by the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce.  A Steering Committee has been established to represent county and city interests as well as to provide input, review and approve the work of the consultant throughout the planning process.

Your input is valuable:

After reviewing the above information, if you would like to provide your feedback/input on the project, contact:

Jennifer Tavares, CEcD
Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce
904 East Shore Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850
607-273-7080 ph
607-272-7617 fax