The Tour de Troit funded the development of these Bicycle Wayfinding Guidelines and partnered with the Detroit Greenways Coalition and livingLAB to engage the community and develop them. The initial guidelines were published in December 2014.

The intent of these guidelines is to recommend wayfinding signage that would be routinely included in all bicycle infrastructure projects within the City of Detroit. These are intended to guide the City of Detroit staff as well as the various agencies and organizations that work on implementing bicycle improvements within the City.

The purpose of these design guidelines is to develop an informative and visible signage system for the City’s growing bikeway network. This includes directional information to major destinations within the City as well as neighboring communities.

The intent of implementing these guidelines is to:

  • Familiarize users with the bicycle network.
  • Assist in identifying routes to destinations.
  • Assist in increasing the comfort level of and encouraging infrequent bicyclists to bike more often.
  • Develop a signage package that includes distance to destinations to help minimize the tendency to overestimate how faraway places are.
  • Visually indicate to motorists that they are driving along a bicycle route or facility.
  • Market the bicycle network by providing consistent imagery.

We believe that well-thought out bicycle wayfinding is a necessary component of a public bike share system. These systems often get new bicycle riders in the saddle that may be less familiar with good bicycle routing options to major destinations. Signs can help.

The Guidelines are available on-line.

Wayfinding for Bicycle Parking

d4_3r_bicycle_parking_rightWant to direct users to your bicycle parking? The Federal Highway Administration’s MUTCD has a standard sign for that, D4-3. According to the MUTCD:

Section 9B.23 Bicycle Parking Area Sign (D4-3)

Option: The Bicycle Parking Area (D4-3) sign (see Figure 9B-4) may be installed where it is desirable to show the direction to a designated bicycle parking area. The arrow may be reversed as appropriate.

Standard: The legend and border of the Bicycle Parking Area sign shall be green on a retro-reflectorized white background.

Other Wayfinding

The City of Detroit Streets for People Plan includes Slow Streets Wayfinding: “The guidelines presented here provide basic information about the design of bicycle and pedestrian wayfinding signage for the Slow Streets network and strives to support the needs of both cyclists and walkers.” These guidelines likely suspercede those noted elsewhere. One of their advantages is they make use of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide

Wayne State University and others have installed “quirky but practical temporary signs” with often more of a pedestrian wayfinding focus. These signs are based on the  Walk [Your City] online toolkit. They’re not a permanent solution like the federally-approved road signs mentioned above, but they have their place. They are a quick and inexpensive way to get people moving on foot or bike, and to help them realize that these options are more practical in an urban environment than one might think otherwise.

Also, the Downriver Linked Greenways produced a Wayside Companion, which was written and designed by the National Park Service. It’s a very comprehensive guide!

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