Wayfinding is an important part in helping people navigate cities and something Auckland hasn’t been particularly good at in the past. Auckland Transport is leading a project across the council family to try and improve that and come up with a region-wide signage solution. They list the benefits as
A consistent signage system will:
- Make it easier for locals and visitors to explore Auckland.
- Give Auckland’s signage a consistent and modern look, supporting our aspiration to make Auckland the world’s most liveable city.
- Help promote active travel and healthy lifestyles.
AT are or will be soon trialling the proposed new signage in four locations across Auckland and are seeking feedback from the public on it. Here are the locations:
- Grafton Gully cycleway (will be installed by the middle of the year)
- Wynyard Quarter (being installed now)
- New Lynn (this includes Avondale and Fruitvale Rd train stations)
- Northcote shopping centre
I’ve seen some of the signage at the train stations but only from a passing train and so haven’t had an opportunity to study it up close. Even from a distance though, I’ve been pleased with some of the changes at the train stations, for example the inclusion of a line map showing only what stations are left.
Below are some images provided by the team working on this project.
If you want to make a submission, they are open till April 29. There will also be two open day type events.
- Thur 14 April 2 – 4pm – Outside the New Lynn Public Library in Memorial Square
- Wed 27 April 10 – 12pm – Outside Viaduct Events Centre, Karanga Plaza
Street signs have had a varied history in recent years. The legacy councils all had their own designs. The 37% of streets covered by Auckland City, Franklin and Papakura councils all used blue signs while the remaining 63% of streets covered by Manukau, North Shore, Rodney and Waitakere all used green signs.
In October 2013 green signs started appearing on some streets of the old Auckland City Council, something AT said was caused by a contractor making a mistake. They also said they would make a formal decision in mid 2014 on what colour to use. Then just a month later they announced all signs would go green as they were replaced as part of normal maintenance.
But yesterday he disclosed that an “executive” decision was made on October 25 to go all green – although by gradual process. “It will be done slowly and over many years with no additional cost to ratepayers.
“When a blue sign reaches the end of its useful life – for instance due to vandalism, fading, rusting – it will be replaced by a green sign.” He said 63 per cent of the city’s signs were already green.
I recall at the time some residents from suburbs near the city aghast that the blue would be changed out.
Last year as part of the Dominion Rd Parallel Cycle Routes project, AT conducted a trial of a new design but many complained they were difficult to read. The signs used a dark blue background
New signs peppering streets around Auckland’s Dominion Rd may have to be “re-skinned” to make them easier for motorists to read, the city’s transport authority admits.
Auckland Transport said yesterday that some drivers had complained lettering on the dark blue “way-finding” signs is not large enough for them to make out.
“Initial feedback is that the typeface … is too small, particularly if you are driving,” said marketing general manager Mike Loftus. “This is certainly something we will be reviewing.”
Based on the image above and on AT’s website it seems we’re now back to a lighter blue with the darker signs used for PT and walking/cycling. I wonder how many more times AT will change their mind about the colour?