Nicholas Scott, Ph.D.

mobilities, environments, social movements, cities

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Wayfinding your Way

Are you lost? Do you feel out of place?

I was, and did, last weekend, while biking to a park through North and West Vancouver (wealthy burbs overlooking the city of Vancouver proper, which sits pretty across the harbour/petroleum highway to Asia). For one, holy smokes, lifestyles of the rich and the famous! Mega mansions, millionaire migrants, luxury cars and homes that cost more than Nova Scotia.

More importantly, there was a lot of complex infrastructure. I only wanted to bike for an hour (left my spandex suit at home, and by home I mean the 1980s). Then, suddenly, the many bike signs and signals in these suburbs starting (slowly) making sense, for my escape…

Wayfinding tools help you merge in traffic, merge out, bypass traffic sewers, find your own space in the street, get from point A to B via C, and even D. If plentiful and well designed, they can invite you (biking) further and further into strange, unfamiliar environments…

Separate signs, signals + sharrows also help cyclists feel like they belong in the street, the ‘public right of way,’ so to speak. Lets keep mapping and making routes for the cycling masses. Might make the tar sands highway from Alberta though the biodiverse BC coast to Asian markets seem pretty slow.