Merchants association gets first look at possible directional signs for La Jolla

A rendering depicts what directional signage could look like in The Village.

The La Jolla Village Merchants Association is a step closer to installing new directional signage in The Village, a project that has been considered in some form for the past five years.

LJVMA Executive Director Jodi Rudick said Integrated Sign Associates had been selected to produce renderings and plans that could be shopped to other boards to obtain funding. The renderings were presented during the merchants association board’s Aug. 12 meeting online.

“We have a wonderful list of attractions listed here,” Rudick said. “We are going to add more, but for now we have bus lines, public parking, visitor information and attractions. It will be amazing to get off the bus and be pointed directly to where you want to go.”

Some of the attractions are La Jolla Cove, Children’s Pool, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and La Jolla Open Aire Farmers Market.

Similar sign programs are in other walkable communities such as Encinitas, Hillcrest and downtown San Diego.

In compiling the list of locations to be included, Rudick reached out to local community advisory and volunteer groups, such as La Jolla Parks & Beaches, art institutions and “friends” groups for local trails. The signs also would feature QR codes that could lead a user to a website or an interactive directory.

A rendering of a possible directional sign lists La Jolla attractions.

The board budgeted for the creation of a plan that could be submitted to other groups for approval and funding, but not the funding for fabrication and installation.

“In terms of fabrication, we have a quote right now of about $30,000 to get the first phase done, which would include four or five big directories, the wayfinding signs at about 20 locations,” Rudick said. “So once we get the plan in place, we need to figure out where to get the funding.”

She said she would reach out to the La Jolla Coastal Access and Parking Board for possible funding.

The La Jolla Coastal Access Parking Fund was established some 50 years ago through California Coastal Commission-required contributions by office-space developers. The purpose was to implement a shuttle system to move people throughout The Village from a remote parking area, along with other short- or long-term parking solutions. The fund currently has more than $160,000 for short-term parking solutions.

“I think it’s exciting,” Rudick said of the overall plan.

“This is great,” LJVMA board President Brett Murphy added, with agreement from other members.

The board has been exploring the possibility of directional signage since 2015.

In March that year, LJVMA voted to proceed with a proposal and attain the funding ($20,000 for seven signs) from businesses that would be represented on the signs before deciding on their design and placement.

However, in October 2015, the board switched gears and decided to focus on the design first, then seek the funding. From there, the proposal went quiet.

The Village Merchants Association is revisiting the idea of installing directional signs in La Jolla to help people find their way around.

In May this year, LJVMA announced it was revisiting the idea. At the time, the group discussed a two-phase approach that could be implemented over time. Phase 1 would include the directional signs and Phase 2 would incorporate high-tech options such as digital marquees that show how many spaces are open in each pay parking lot. ◆