Coachella Valley Region
It’s a small detail that’s easy to miss, but if you’ve ever driven down Highway 111 and wondered why all the traffic signals are numbered, you’re not alone.
At one point, tourists could use a map with all of the Highway 111 intersections and their corresponding numbers to navigate their way around the Coachella Valley, but according to the Coachella Valley Bureau of Tourism, those maps are no longer printed or used.
The signs were the brain child of former La Quinta Mayor Terry Henderson. Henderson wanted to create an easier way to steer tourists around the Coachella Valley so she came up with the idea of numbering the traffic signals up and down Highway 111 from Palm Springs to Indio.
"Fifteen, sixteen years ago there weren’t many good directional signs. I mean, coming out of the airport you couldn’t figure out where you were going," said Tim Ellis, former president of the board of directors for the Coachella Valley Bureau of Tourism.
Although Henderson’s vision was realized and the signs were fairly successful when they were first put up, they fell out of favor with tourists as improved signage made its way throughout the desert.
"I think the directional signs around the desert have improved tremendously over the last decade and I don’t think there was any use for it anymore. But the sign are still up there," Ellis said.