One of our largest and longest-running projects here at the LADOT Bicycle Program has been the development of bicycle wayfinding signage. We’ve recently made significant progress by working with the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) to place signs along the Los Angeles River Bicycle Path. As we continue to expand our bikeway network to serve more neighborhoods, it’s important for people to know how they can use the larger, citywide network to get where they want to go.
At this time, we have finished determining the specific information (destination, direction and distance) for each individual sign in the planned citywide wayfinding system. We’ve assembled all this information into the following interactive maps and a spreadsheet, which are presented below for your perusal. After the maps and spreadsheet, we discuss the background of the wayfinding project and explain some of the decisions that occurred during the design process.
Tips for using the maps: If no signs appear initially on the Google Map, you must zoom in and out a few times to make the signs appear. Each point represents a single sign location. Clicking on a point will bring up a pop-up window containing the location of the sign and the destinations the sign directs users to. Because of the amount of information being presented, we are grouping the signs by the following regions: 1) Downtown L.A.-Central L.A.- Northeast L.A. (this includes Boyle Heights and other Eastside neighborhoods), 2)Harbor & South L.A. 3) Westside L.A. 4) San Fernanado Valley. If the map has muiltiple pages, you must click through on the numbered pages in the bottom left corner to make the next page of signs appear on the map.
Please note that the sign locations as depicted on the map do not precisely reflect the individual poles to which the signs will be mounted; they’re merely intended to give a rough idea of where each sign will be in relation to the intersection. For this reason, the dots may appear in some odd places when you zoom in. We assure you that we aren’t going to install any signs on private property; all signs will be mounted to city sign poles within the public right-of-way.
Downtown L.A.- Central L.A.- Northeast L.A.
Click below to view the remaining maps and a downloadable spreadsheet of each sign in the system.
Harbor & South L.A.
San Fernando Valley
Click here to view a Google Map of the comprehensive wayfinding system.
Click here to access or download the original spreadsheet.
Click here to download a KML link that will allow you to view the entire wayfinding system in Google Earth.
While we’re happy to provide this information for you to review, please note that the selection of destinations for each sign reflects several years’ worth of work and is considered final. We’ll fix any obvious errors (for example, a sign contains a destination that an approaching bicyclist would have already passed) that become apparent between now and the beginning of sign fabrication, but we don’t anticipate any major changes in the types of destinations displayed or the routes along which bicyclists are guided to reach them.
In 2012, we held a series of meetings to gather input on what types of destinations should be included in the wayfinding system and how the signs should look. Since those meetings were held, we’ve been working hard to plan a signage system that satisfies the needs and desires of the community. We’d like to share with you some of the process that went into deciding key aspects of the system’s design.
Early on, we selected the bikeways that will be part of the wayfinding signage network. This network of “wayfinding bikeways” includes:
- Existing bicycle lanes
- Existing bicycle paths
- Existing sharrowed bicycle routes in Central L.A., South L.A. and the Westside
- In-design bicycle lanes and paths expected to be in place by the time the signage is installed, including the cycle tracks in the Figueroa Corridor Streetscape Project (MyFigueroa)
- Streets identified as bicycle-friendly streets (BFSs) in the Five Year Implementation Strategy of the 2010 Bicycle Plan.
There are some exceptions to the above list in cases where existing or planned bikeways have obvious barriers to bicycling that wayfinding signage will not fix. For example, a planned BFS may lack a traffic signal to help bicyclists get across a busy boulevard, or a sharrowed route may need traffic calming and/or diversion treatments (which typically take a lot of time and money to plan and install) in order to support comfortable cycling by people of all ages. For these reasons, a number of bikeways are being excluded from the wayfinding network until these issues can be resolved.
Each sign in the system will include at least one destination and up to three destinations. The following types of places are considered eligible to appear as destinations on our signs:
- Class I off-street bicycle paths
- Educational institutions (universities, high schools, public libraries)
- Hospitals and Clinics
- Major government centers (City Hall, Courthouse, etc.)
- Job centers (mainly Downtown L.A., Century City and Warner Center)
- Shopping areas (e.g., Westfield Plaza)
- Tourist destinations (Hollywood Bouelvard, Venice Boardwalk, beaches, museums, etc.)
- Stadiums and other live event venues (Hollywood Bowl, Staples Center, etc.)
- Transit connections (Metro Rail stations, Metrolink stations, busway stations, bus transit centers)
- Public suggestions
We also chose to include neighborhoods and adjoining cities as potential destinations. For the purposes of this signage system, we used the neighborhood boundaries from the Los Angeles Times’ Mapping L.A. web site, as these boundaries are finely detailed, cover the entire city, and are readily available as digital files that work with our geographic information systems (GIS) software. Finally, in order to be included on one of our signs, a destination must be located on or within approximately one-quarter mile of a bikeway that is part of the wayfinding network. We want our wayfinding system to be associated with a network of bikeways, and keeping the destinations limited to this zone ensures that we stick to that principle.
Signs are located at decision points where bicyclists will have multiple choices as to which direction to travel. This means that signs are placed at all locations where two or more bikeways intersect, as well as at all locations where a turn is required to reach a destination that lies within one-quarter mile of a bikeway. Signs are also placed where the bikeway makes a turn from one street onto another. For all wayfinding sign locations, we’ve identified existing city sign poles to which the sign can be mounted.
For the sake of simplicity, legibility and cost-effectiveness, sign design closely follows standard designs established in the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The signs we’ve chosen measure up to 18 x 24 inches in size, and include the following elements: the direction to the destination, followed by a bike symbol, the destination name, and the distance in miles. (For destinations that require a right turn, the direction arrow will appear on the right side of the sign).
We’re now working on getting the necessary engineering approvals for all of these signs and assembling the information (sign design and content) into a bid package that will go out to interested contractors in the next few months. We hope to begin fabricating and installing the signs later this year.
We’re very excited to have reached this point in the wayfinding project, and we thank everyone who’s participated in the planning and outreach process for their patience as we’ve worked to get the sign locations and content finalized. The pace of progress is starting to pick up, and we encourage you to keep checking back here for updates as we get closer to placing these signs on the street.