In Raleigh, NC the very first Walk [Your City] campaign was installed in 2012. It sparked a desire to activate cities for pedestrians across many states in the U.S. Through the use of inexpensive and easy to install directional signage, cities such as Mount Hope WV, Atlantic Beach, North Hills, and Downtown Greensborough NC, Santa Fe NM, and now The Channel District in Tampa, Florida have been able show locals and visitors that the places people visit daily can easily be reached on foot, rather than needing to take a vehicle.
We chose the Channel District as it is a location in Downtown Tampa with a large residential population and tourist/visitor base. There are many local shops, restaurants, bars, and personal service locations that we felt could benefit from the enhanced foot traffic created by the Walk [Your City] sign campaign program.
One of the most notable features is the unique QR code located on each sign. As a pedestrian scans the QR code on their phone, directions will be presented to the respective location. Another cool feature exists in the “Info” section. In this tab, you can see all business near that location that you can chose from to visit. Of course the full list of businesses and comprehensive map can be found on our www.tampasdowntown.com website.
Partnership staff, along with the University of South Florida’s Student Planning Organization (SPO) board members, installed the signs throughout the Channel District on Friday October 9th.
“People are already becoming engaged with the project!” stated Austin Britt, Planning Coordinator for the Tampa Downtown Partnership and Vice President of the SPO. “We had several people come up and inquire about the signs while we were installing them. They seemed really excited about, and interested in, the project and were wondering where all of the destinations were.”
Taylor Hague, the President of USF’s SPO had the following to say about the project, “We are thrilled to have been able to assist the Downtown Partnership in the Installation of the Walk [Your City] pedestrian signage throughout the Channel District. It was a pleasure to be able to help direct the citizens to the many pedestrian friendly amenities provided.”
In just the first week since the project’s installation, the signs have been scanned over 20 times, indicating that individuals living in, and visiting, the Channel District are eager to walk to nearby services rather than use a personal vehicle.
Through methods such as Walk [Your City], we are helping the City of Tampa reach its Vision Zero goal, by making multiple travel options more easily accessible and safer to the user. Based on the positive reception of this pilot project, the Partnership plans to expand this campaign further. From adding more signs within the Channel District, to growing the campaign throughout the entire downtown area, there is a tremendous opportunity to activate and advertise the walkability of Tampa’s Downtown and promote healthier, more sustainable mobility options.