What’s up with wayfinding?


Mapping out destinations in GIS

The LADOT team is hard at work designing a user-friendly wayfinding system for bicycling in Los Angeles. Because L.A. isn’t the first city to do wayfinding, staff members are reviewing wayfinding signage standards from a variety of other municipalities, including Oakland and Seattle.  Ultimately, City of L.A.’s signage will need to follow the California MUTCD, be standardized to look similar to the signs below, and include up to three destinations on each individual sign.

FHWA approved wayfinding signage

Examples of bicycle wayfinding signage from the MUTCD

Staff are in the process of compiling a database of possible destinations to be signed (districts, parks, civic centers, schools, libraries, landmarks, and other public facilities). These, combined with your input from our previous wayfinding survey and outreach meetings, will be prioritized and mapped to the most appropriate bikeway corridors. While signs will be planned for eventual placement along all existing bikeways, and guidelines created to install new wayfinding signage for future bikeways, implementation will proceed as part of the current project for select bicycle-friendly streets in the 5 Year Implementation Plan, as well as select existing bike lanes and paths as needed (depending on how far we’re able to stretch our available funding).

There are some challenges that come with designing a wayfinding system for a city as large as  L.A. (467 sq. miles to be exact). One consideration is the varying density of the street network among different regions (for example: the Valley vs. Downtown).  The number of travel lanes on a street will determine the distance a sign should be placed from the intersection. Well-executed signage placement will ensure that bicyclists have enough time to prepare for a turn if needed.

Do you know of a corridor that could benefit from bicycle wayfinding signage, or a destination that should be included? Feel free to leave comments and suggestions below or email Bicycle Coordinator Nate Baird at nate.baird@lacity.org with your ideas!

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