Wednesday, November 18, 2015

TransLink's Cycling Wayfinding Guide

Many municipalities in Metro Vancouver have developed wayfinding strategies for their communities. When it comes to cycling, I know that the City of Surrey has spent considerable time and money marking its cycling network. The Township of Langley has been rolling out signage to identify cycling routes within the community. The City of Langley has a comprehensive, multi-modal wayfinding system which it has been slowly rolling out.

Even the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has been installing cycling route markers and directional signs on the road network it maintains in our region.

While it is great that all levels of government have been rolling out their own versions of cycling wayfinding, there are some issues with this ad-hoc approach. One issue is that cycling route markers are not consistent throughout the region. For people driving and cycling, it can make it a challenge to know if you are on a bike route. For example in some municipalities, the signage is way too small.

Another challenge is that most municipality’s wayfinding strategies don’t included signage to help people cycling know that they are on the right route to their indented destination.

In the fall of 2013, TransLink quietly released “Get There By Bike! Wayfinding Guidelines for Utility Cycling in Metro Vancouver”. Similar to the MassDOT Protected Bike Lane Guide, the TransLink guide is the bible for cycling wayfinding in our region. The system includes both signage and pavement markings. Instead of describing the wayfinding system, the following small selection of examples from the guide show how comprehensive it is.

Top left, decision sign. Top right, confirmation sign. Bottom left, turn fingerboard. Bottom right, off-network waymarker.

An example of how cycling routes would be signed at a typical intersection. Select image to enlarge.

An example of how cycling routes would be signed at a complex intersection. Select image to enlarge.

The Township of Langley-friendly cycling and horse riding route marker.

Since the guide was released, TransLink has been updating it. Last month, TransLink added a new sign style to its wayfinding system.

Named cycling route sign where multiply routing options are available. Select image to enlarge.

While I’m happy that TransLink has developed this guide, as implementing the wayfinding system in the guide in optionial for municipalities, I wonder if TransLink's wayfinding system will be incorporated into the wayfinding strategies and systems of our communities. I certainly hope so.

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