A standardized system for wayfinding can provide pedestrians consistent information to common questions such as: Where am I? How do I get there? How long will it take? What is there to see and do here? By removing the uncertainty associated with these questions, transportation agencies can encourage people to walk, cycle, or use transit rather than drive short-medium distances. This is particularly true for tourists, seniors, persons with disabilities, and families traveling with children, all of whom are less likely to be comfortable getting lost while navigating to their destination in an unfamiliar neighborhood. A reliable pedestrian wayfinding system can also enhance access to neighborhoods and employment centers by providing orientation and simplifying first-and last-mile journeys.
Recognizing this need, business improvement areas and individual transit agencies in Seattle have established several wayfinding systems. In 2017, the Seattle Department of Transportation will kick-off a project to develop new and coordinated standards for pedestrian wayfinding.