Purchasing contracts being finalized for downtown pedestrian maps

Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 10:05pm

Navigating Nashville on foot can sometimes be a challenge.

New pedestrian maps soon to be installed throughout the city’s core should lessen that difficulty.

Currently, the Metro Public Works Department is finalizing a purchasing contract with the vendor that will install the 155 pedestrian maps, slated for this summer.

“The design is complete, although we are continuing to refine right up to the last minute,” said Jonathan Cleghon, a transportation engineer with the Metro Public Works Department. “We want to be sure we have the most up-to-date information on them.”

The maps will offer pedestrians colorful and specific information about the city’s main attractions and points of interests. Check an example of the pedestrian map here.

Pittsburgh-based Informing Design Inc. has designed the pedestrian maps to have images based on 3D models. Static images from a dynamic computer model allow IDI to rotate the model on computers in its office to match how the map needs to be oriented at each site, and then output the static image for that site from the model.

Users thus get a custom image at each location, designed for that location.

For example, a user can view a building on the sign that is due north, with the sign offering a north perspective. A building west of the sign will be seen as if the sign is showing a west perspective. The vinyl, anti-graffiti signs will be wrapped in a metal frame.

The cost of the project is $53,000.

Cleghon said the department has three updated signs to be used over the next three years.

“For instance, the convention center and KVB are both shown as being under construction,” he said. “When those are open, we will update the maps.”

Of the 155 signs, 128 will be placed downtown, with the remaining 27 to be installed in the Midtown, Music Row and Vanderbilt areas.

Bob Firth, Informing Design president, said people will “relate” to the simplicity and user-friendliness of the maps.

“It’s cost-effective how we’re doing it,” said Firth, whose company currently is handling signage/maps for the Greater Washington D.C. area.

Informing Design designed the maps found at the kiosks on Deaderick Street.

For the effort, public works is coordinating with various entities, including the Mayor’s Office, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Nashville Downtown Partnership. Operators of various downtown landmark, attractions and venues offered feedback, too.

“We wanted to ensure we had consensus among the stakeholders,” Cleghon said.

2 Comments on this post:

By: rickgibson5 on 5/20/11 at 9:40

Fifty three grand would have paid for one good teacher for a year. What ever happened to paper maps? I work on Deaderick Street and I've yet to see anyone stop and look at the kiosks in the last year. More ways to waste money . . .

By: Taxi1099 on 5/20/11 at 1:24

Paper maps are available free of charge at:

Nashville Convention and Visitor Bureau
150 4th Ave North