Small ideas can make Metro greater.

Compass rose decals at station exits

Exiting at an unfamiliar metro station, but don't know the direction you need to head next? Use a compass rose to quickly orient yourself.

WMATA should keep the decals sufficiently far away from the station exit that tourists won't stand over them and block escalator exits. In fact, if the decals are placed 10 feet forward from the exit, it could draw unfamiliar visitors forward and out of the way of escalators as they orient themselves.

The decals would work best if they gave primary prominence to the north direction, so that they could be read from a distance and were not dependent on reading the letters.

Submitted by: Robert B., Falls Church, VA


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Great idea! I'd suggest adding indications of which street is where. For example, coming out of Gallery Place at 7th and F, the arrows would show which sidewalk is 7th and which is F. Street signs are not always immediately visible upon exiting a station.

by Isaac Moses on Jun 22, 2016 10:58 am • linkreport

I love this idea. Super useful, easy, and low-cost. I often come up a metro escalator looking at Google Maps to try to find my way to somewhere new, but the map on my phone isn't able to orient itself until I've walked for some distance. This would help greatly!

by Arlen on Jun 22, 2016 10:58 am • linkreport

We suggested this to Metro 4 years ago. And I just submitted it here before I saw your submission.

So: +1, as they say.

by ubuntourist on Jun 22, 2016 6:58 pm • linkreport

I was going to post this idea myself. This is super useful for anyone who is unfamiliar with an area, tourists and locals. Coming up from underground can be especially disorienting when you can't see any familiar markers, and compass roses would make navigating so much easier.

by CB on Jun 22, 2016 7:00 pm • linkreport

For redundancy: Compass Rose

by Kevin C. on Jun 22, 2016 8:02 pm • linkreport

This would be very helpful.

by Jonathan Krall on Jun 28, 2016 12:20 pm • linkreport

Yes! I've often wished for these- would be extremely helpful. Was going to submit idea myself and saw that two people already had submitted it.

by Becky on Jul 13, 2016 9:39 am • linkreport

Helpful idea. Especially in stations with several exits. I could also help to keep folks from standing in the way while searching their phone for directions.

by Sonia Conly on Aug 11, 2016 4:14 pm • linkreport

Add pictorial representations of oriented landmarks on the compass rose such as Capitol, Jefferson Memorial, etc. Would help for those who aren't compass oriented. unfortunately, not everyone was a boy or girl scout as a kid.

by Mark H on Aug 12, 2016 10:09 am • linkreport

Rather than decals on the ground, could be fun to commission a local artist to create a piece unique to that neighborhood that includes the compass rose. Good way to provide both wayfinding and placemaking. Perhaps could leverage NEA grant funds?

by Casey on Aug 15, 2016 3:56 pm • linkreport

@Casey - Pokémon Go? ;-)

by ubuntourist on Aug 15, 2016 4:13 pm • linkreport

Often wondered why these were not used in more if not all transit systems. So simple and so helpfu

by Joseph6637 on Aug 23, 2016 6:01 am • linkreport

As a first time visitor, I lost my sister's car in a driving rainstorm. Didn't know about NE and NW. Directional arrows would really help.

by Jeff on Aug 26, 2016 12:56 pm • linkreport

great idea, make sure they are large print and raised dots for visually impaired!

by jan norman on Aug 30, 2016 7:47 pm • linkreport

So... According to this site's "About" page ( the timeline says:

"Winning idea announced: by Wednesday, August 24, 2016"

followed elsewhere with "vote for your favorite by August 26" (and no apparent link to voting).

What, prithee was the winning idea? Or is it business as usual: Expect delays and regret the inconvenience?

by Kevin C. on Nov 4, 2016 2:33 pm • linkreport

Never mind. I see I missed it. My apologies.

by Kevin C. on Nov 4, 2016 2:34 pm • linkreport

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