Bicycle wayfinding signs coming to Los Angeles

LADOT has applied and received funding for a Metro Call application to establish a bicyclist directional signage program throughout the City of Los Angeles. The project is meant to encourage bicycling by providing signage that will assist travelers in utilizing their bicycles to travel to local destinations. The State has recently granted LADOT approval to begin planning for the implementation of bicycle wayfinding signage throughout the City. More on wayfinding below the fold.

Chicago Way Finding

Chicago, IL was the first to experiment with FHWA approved bicycle wayfinding signage

FHWA Approved Signage

According to FHWA, bike route wayfinding can be implemented today if the signs used are compliant with the Federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) – the Final Draft 2011 CA MUTCD (Section 9B) also includes bicycle guide signage. Non-compliant signs will be deemed experimental and require applications for experimentation. The City of Los Angeles will be using approved MUTCD signage identical to the image below for our wayfinding signage. Using standardized signage is advantageous because the signs will be more readily identifiable by bicyclists throughout the City.

LADOT plans on prioritizing wayfinding signage implementation along Bicycle Friendly Street (BFS) facilities in the five year implementation plan and along other appropriate facilities like the L.A. River bike path and the Orange Line bike path. We will be conducting neighborhood outreach to garner input from local communities to determine appropriate destinations for display.

FHWA approved wayfinding signage

Wayfinding signage coming to Los Angeles

Best Practice from Oakland

Oakland’s Bicycle Facility Design Guidelines offers some nice wayfinding signage standards. Their signs relay destination, direction, and distance information. Destinations are organized into a hierarchy of categories:

  • Primary Destinations: downtown and adjoining jurisdictions (signed at distances of up to five miles)
  • Secondary Destinations: transit stations and districts (signed at distances of up to two miles)
  • Tertiary Destinations: parks, landmarks, colleges, hospitals, and high schools (generally signed at distances up to one mile)

An example of Oakland’s wayfinding signage (image via

Signage Considerations

We’d like to know what kind of destinations you’d like to see on these signs. Metro Rail stops, transit centers, and other bikeways are already a given. Should we follow Oakland’s guidelines and develop our own destination hierarchy? Should we include parks, elementary and middle schools, police and fire stations, etc? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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