Chicago's Bikeways Signage System: A Model for the Nation

Chicago’s Bikeways Signage System
A Model for the Nation
Grant M. Davis
Bikeways Project Manager
Chicago Department of Trans. - Bike Program
Chicagoland Bicycle Federation
Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2006
What will we cover?
Development of the Sign Design
Route Determination
Destination Guidelines
Sign Placement Guidelines
System Evaluation
Sign Development: Sign Purpose
• The Three D’s
– Direction
– Destination
– Distance
• Try to Fit within
• Upgradeable &
• Inform Bicyclists
of “Best” Streets
for Bicycling
National Best Practices
Berkeley, CA
Chicago, IL
San Francisco, CA
International Best Practices
Current MUTCD Guidelines
• Section 9B.02—“Except for size…signs for bicycle
facilities should be identical to that …for vehicular
• Section 2D.07—“Symbols…may be used in addition to
the principal legend...”
Before Survey
Majority of Bicyclists Navigate Using Existing
Information in the Field Including:
1) the Numbered Street Grid
2) Major Streets as Landmarks
Majority of Bicyclists Determine “Best
Bicycling” Streets in the Field Through:
1) Trial and Error
2) On-Street Facilities
71% Preferred Chicago’s System Over Current MUTCD System
The Bike Route Signs Developed
Route Determination
•Chicago’s Bike Map
•Network Connectivity
•Popular Destinations
•“Bike Friendliness”
Destination Guidelines
• Target Bicyclist
– Knows Major Landmarks
– Doesn’t Know Best Streets
for Bicycling
• Hierarchal Categories
– Primary
– Secondary
– Tertiary
• Located on the Route
• Avoid “Political”
Sign Placement
•Placed Every ¼ Mile
•Placed After Every Turn
•Placed After Every “Major”
Signalized Intersection
•Placed at Intersecting
Routes/Decision Points
Key Findings from After Survey
• Most Bicyclists Believe:
– The Signs are Easy to Follow
– The Destinations Provided are Useful
– The Signs Themselves are the Right Size
– The Signs were Placed Just Right
Key Findings Continued
• The Signs did the Following for the
Majority of Bicyclists:
– Helped with Navigation
– Helped Them Feel More Legitimate to
Motorists as Legal Users of the Road
– Encouraged Them to Take New Streets
Grant M. Davis
CDOT Bike Program
30 N. LaSalle St., Ste. 500
Chicago, IL 60602