Applicable Countermeasures

Wayfinding signs help bicyclists navigate or discover new routes to common destinations.


Wayfinding pertains to directional signs, distance markers, posted maps, information kiosks and other aides for getting people places. In their broadest application, wayfinding systems help all road users (including motorists and pedestrians as well as bicyclists) find their way in a city. For example, as part of its downtown improvement efforts, the City of Atlanta is developing a wayfinding sign system that will include uniform geographically oriented maps, signs, and kiosks designed to serve all modes of transportation accessing the area (see Another example is the City of Seattle, which has been awarded a three-part Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant to design and implement a downtown wayfinding system. When completed, the system will include kiosks, signs, maps, and a Web site "to enhance everyone’s ability to navigate the Center City and find destinations whether by foot, transit, bicycle or car" (see

Wayfinding systems can also be more narrowly focused. For example, Contra Costa County in California is working to develop a wayfinding system to guide pedestrians and cyclists in and around its Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system station, and many communities with well-defined bike networks are looking to wayfinding signs both to publicize their system and to help people access and use it. When placed along bike trails or routes, wayfinding signs typically include easy-to-read arrows pointed toward specific nearby destinations and distances to these destinations. A frequent location for such signs is where a bike path may cross or intersect with a roadway — the sign both informs the bicyclist and alerts passing motorists and pedestrians of the existence of the bike path.


  • Provide travel information (nearby destinations, directions, distances) to users of a given pathway or facility.
  • Publicize the existence of a bicycle network.
  • Make it easier for people to find and access bicycle facilities.

top of page


  • Wayfinding projects can be carried out at many levels; however, it is important that a systemwide approach be taken so that different signs, maps, information kiosks, etc. do not appear in different parts of a city, thereby confusing rather than enlightening users.
  • Web sites containing wayfinding information are becoming more important.

top of page

Estimated Cost

Estimated costs will be variable, depending on the nature and scope of the system being developed. More elaborate kiosks and map postings will be more expensive depending on materials and installation costs.

top of page

Case Studies

top of page