Maps or Smartphone apps? That was the question posed by over 700 people who completed both the online and in-person Walk Edmonton wayfinding survey. This survey, which was designed to accompany the deployment of five wayfinding maps placed around Edmonton's downtown area, provided positive insight into how actual pedestrians compare the benefits of wayfinding signage and Smartphone apps.
The Walk Edmonton wayfinding project was created to address the needs of pedestrians in downtown Edmonton, helping them to feel more at ease with getting around using the pedway system that connects businesses, parking areas, and shopping centers in the downtown area. The project, which also includes future plans for Smartphone apps and integrated web mapping, was unveiled along with in-person and online surveys to gauge how pedestrians in Edmonton felt about the proposed improvements in the city's wayfinding systems.
The results of the wayfinding surveys in Edmonton showed significant interest and support for those participants who chose to take part. While there were respondents who felt that the wayfinding maps were unnecessary due to the prevalence of Smartphone mapping applications, there were many others who felt that the maps were beneficial. Out of the 725 respondents, more than 652 people reported that the wayfinding maps would promote confidence in pedestrian travel in the downtown area, and 580 of the respondents responded that they would actually use the maps if they were used throughout the heart Edmonton.
According to city officials, these numbers were encouraging, and show that pedestrians will utilize maps and wayfinding signage when available. In Edmonton, this information provided the necessary push that wayfinding project managers were hoping for, allowing them to pursue a larger-scale project for assisting pedestrians throughout the downtown area.
Edmonton's limited unveiling and survey results show the benefits that wayfinding signage can provide for pedestrians in busy downtown areas. The boost in confidence that these methods provide can prove beneficial in improving pedestrian traffic, leading to a decrease in overall vehicular traffic in busy city centers. If you want to see how Pocket Maps can help wayfinding initiatives in your area, contact us today.
September 25th, 2014
by Mark Minoff