UBC Graduate Research

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Bicycle Wayfinding Signage Callow, Matthew


The primary purpose of the Bicycle Diversion Evaluation Project (“The BDE Project”) is to determine whether or not wayfinding signage specifically targeted at cyclists, is effective at changing the behaviour of cyclists by encouraging cyclists to use designated bicycle routes. The goal of the wayfinding signs is to encourage cyclists to use routes that are less busy in order to reduce the number of pedestrian-cyclist conflicts on the UBC Vancouver campus. The BDE Project fills a gap in the literature as it is unique. The case studies that were examined in the literature review broadly suggests that signage is effective in changing the behaviour of pedestrians, cyclists or drivers. Despite not clearly being able to identify that bike wayfinding can alter the route choice behaviour of cyclists, the case studies suggest that wayfinding signs will be successful in altering cyclist route choice behaviour. As there is no case study that directly answers the research question being posed in the BDE Project, the BDE Project is an important study that fills a gap in the academic literature on the effectiveness of bike wayfinding signage at changing the behaviour of cyclists. Results from the BDE Project show that the percent change in cyclists choosing to travel away from the Pedestrian Priority Zone in the before-implementation and after-implementation counting period is not significantly different. As a result, the BDE Project cannot confidently conclude that the specific bike wayfinding signs that have been implemented on the UBC Vancouver campus have an effect at altering the route choice behaviour of cyclists. Despite this finding, it is important to understand that there are a number of limitations that likely contributed to this result. One major limitation is the lack of time between the implementation of the wayfinding signs and the beginning of the post-implementation counting. Another limitation of the wayfinding signs is that they are not placed at consistent locations in intersections and have small font size making them hard to read. Further studies looking at the design of bike wayfinding signs are recommended and need to be done before it can be concluded that all bike wayfinding signs are ineffective at altering the route choice behaviour of cyclists. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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