Walking and the pedestrian environment
May 4, 2005
ID Signage (Seattle)

Let's add some cool signs to Seattle's International District

Robert Ketcherside

Ideas for Seattle Chinatown/International District Signage



  1. Street name signs with names in Chinese characters (4th ave = 四南, etc)
  2. Replace brown historic district signs with signs like on Jackson & 8th

  3. Have select businesses place maps on windows

  4. Ped crossing and stop signs from China, Japan, Korea

  5. Landmark map

  6. Directional signs

  7. Specific requests from King Street hub area.


1.In other countries, it�s common to have English and the native language on signs. Our neighborhood�s streets have been referred in Chinese characters by residents in personal letters and professional advertising. Japanese residents probably used to use katakana for named streets.


2. We have a nice sign at 8th & Jackson, and bland signs at 6th & Yesler and 5th & Jackson.  We could go with the green one, or design yet another.

3. Enlist businesses to provide public service. In Japan, banks provide city or downtown maps with their locations and points of interest.

  • Problem: most neighborhood banks don�t have many branches?

  • Perhaps Starbucks?

  • Text in C/J/E.


4. Place unique, authentic Japanese, Chinese (and other?) street signs in neighborhood.




5. Create a map of landmarks that is a landmark. Include transit, parking lots, tourist and cultural destinations.

6. Directional Signs.  At strategic points in neighborhood, indicate direction and distance to major points in neighborhood and city.


Sample list of locations:

  • 5th & Jackson (Streetcar, Bus Tunnel, bus stops)
  • 5th & Weller (King Street Station connection)
  • Maynard & King (Hing Hay Park)
  • 6th & Lane (Uwajimaya Village)
  • 8th & Lane (Community Center, Library, ID Village I&II, Children�s Park)


Sample list of points:

  • Historic structures in neighborhood
  • Activities in neighborhood (museums, factory tours, self-guided tours, parks)
  • Places people often ask for (Bruce Lee studio, Safeco Field)
  • Destinations outside of neighborhood within walking distance (INS, Taejon Park, Yesler Terrace)
  • Cultural destinations in city; list bus route and time to get there (Chinese garden by South Seattle CC, Kubota Garden)


Sample signs:


7. Specific requests from King Street hub area.  What above signs, or other signs, do we expect the Monorail, WSDOT/Amtrak, and Sound Transit to provide?

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at May 4, 2005 1:50 PM
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