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Wayfinding for bikes, scooters, and pedestrians

Implement a signage package to be incorporated into bicycle facility projects, and park developments within the City of Detroit.

Photo of Vittoria Katanski
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The Tour de Troit conceived the idea of a comprehensive wayfinding system and funded the development of this document. The Tour partnered with the Detroit Greenways Coalition (DGC) and contracted with livingLAB to engage the community and develop the plan. As part of the process, the Tour de Troit and DGC: 

• Reviewed bike wayfinding systems being implemented in other cities throughout the United States. 

• Documented existing bike signage within the City of Detroit. 

• Reviewed AASHTO, NACTO and MUTCD standards. 

• Met with City, County and MDOT staff to gather input related to design and implementation standards. 

• Engaged stakeholders, agencies and organizations in a series of meetings to gather feedback on proposed designs. 

• Developed an online survey that gathered additional input from 372 people. 

• Applied the draft guidelines to a pilot area in southwest Detroit. 

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

The Tour de Troit, Detroit Greenways Coalition, City of Detroit, Wayne County Road Commission, MDOT, and an extensive list of other organizations and agencies have worked to realize tremendous growth in the number and miles of bicycle and greenway facilities within the City of Detroit. The extent of the emerging network spurred the need and desire for a comprehensive bicycle wayfinding program. The purpose of these design guidelines is to develop an informative and visible signage system for the City’s growing bikeway network. The plan 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 ...and more

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

The primary design drivers include legibility by users, cost, longevity, approval agency preferences, and keeping it simple. As a rule of thumb, it is anticipated that there will be four to five signs installed for each directional mile of bikeway. In other words, one mile of bikeway will include four to five bikeway guide signs in each direction. On average, each directional mile of bikeway will include two decision signs.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

In addition to the tour de troit team, the following partners, stakeholders, permitting agencies, cyclists and citizens helped shape the Guidelines: Prasad Nannapaneni, City of Detroit Tim Karl, City of Detroit Kevin Vettraino, SEMCOG Alex Bourgeau, SEMCOG Vince Ranger, MDOT Phil McGuire, Wayne County Roads Ron Agacinski, Wayne County Roads David Tobar, DEGC Elizabeth Iszler, Wayne County Parks Lisa Nuszkowski, Wayne State University Jeri Stroupe, Wayne State , plus over 400 more!

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • Yes

Funding Request

  • $200,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

Installation Drawings: $25,000 Fabrication: $75,000 Installation: $50,000 Education & Marketing: $20,000 Management and outreach: $30,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

During the development of the Design Guide, a pilot design project was done for the West Vernor/Bagley corridor. A sign plan for the 3.5 miles along West Vernor from Patton Park to 14th and Bagley was developed and included here. The plan includes maps to indicate the location of proposed signs as well as the layout and types of signs to install. We would use the funding to verify the bike portion of the plan, modify it to include new modes of transportation introduced since the plan was created such as scooters, then, fabricate, install, test, and develop subsequent phases.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

We would return to our plan contributors and test. We would also interview path users and community members to verify our research.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

The overall approach follows the look and feel of standard highway guide signs while the detailed design is tailored for bicyclists. By using standard signage, the City of Detroit builds upon readily recognizable imagery and encourages consistency with other agencies. They are also more likely to be fundable through federal grant monies and as a component of road reconstruction projects. The City of Detroit, Wayne County and MDOT will also maintain signs within their Right-of-Way that comply.

Social Media

Instagram: tourdetroit facebook: tour de troit twitter: @TourdeTroit


Join the conversation:

Photo of Thomas Mitchell

This is very good for people that do not have apps to find available units around the city. I really think this could work for people who are unaware of units. Nothing beats the the sign you can read in case your phone battery dies.

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