You can get there from here, usually, and a Natrona County-wide effort will make that easier.

Casper City Council and other local governments on Tuesday met with a consulting firm for the "Wayfinder Master Plan" to look at designs for signs to point the way for locals and visitors.

"Wayfinding is a system of signs that create a sense of place and guide people around the community, and oftentimes it's designed for people who live within the community and those people who are not as familiar with the community," said Ryan Peterson, a consultant with the Des Moines, Iowa-based RDG Planning & Design.

"So we have to consider multiple audiences, those who are coming here for a day, or for those coming for a week, or those who just might want to get across town to a park they've not been to," Peterson said after talking to council members and residents at City Hall.

Tom Morton, Townsquare Media
Tom Morton, Townsquare Media

He and other local officials also met with representatives from the county, Mills, Evansville and Bar Nunn. Midwest and Edgerton were not included because they do not belong to the Casper Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which is overseeing and financing the project. The MPO is 90% funded by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.

Casper and the towns in Natrona County already have lots of signs, but many of them were placed in response to an immediate situation such as how to get to downtown, he said.

"This approach that we're taking is a bit more strategic, and thinking about the overall entire system rather than one specific destination," he said.

Tom Morton, Townsquare Media
Tom Morton, Townsquare Media

For example, studies so far have revealed area residents value the mountain, the river, and other natural resources as images they would like to see on the signs, he said.

With a consistent design, font, placement and other factors, the number of signs probably will decrease when the wayfinder project is in place, Peterson said.

RDG Planning & Design will be wrestling with the distances in the county, he said.

The consulting firm has been taking suggestions from the public and elected officials, and will be posting a survey and design ideas on its website, Peterson said.

According to the agenda for the work session, the project will:

  • Consider key area municipalities, community assets and destinations.
  • Identify, inventory and analyze existing signs and locations.
  • Incorporate public participation.
  • Set a framework for signs for a wide range of users and environments.
  • Provide construction and installations guidelines.

Peterson said he's hoping by the beginning of the year to have a consensus about where to place signs, their designs and how to implement the project.

"From that, it's up to the individual communities and the MPO to find the funding, to ultimately put this system in place," he said.

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