Seattle Creates Transportation Wayfinding System, Supports Walkability

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has partnered with Applied Information Group – a design consultancy and wayfinding specialist – to create the city’s wayfinding system, named Seamless Seattle. The project supports Seattle’s goal of becoming the most walkable city in the US. Seamless Seattle is based on the Legible London model, which was developed for Transport for London (TfL). 

The four pillars of Seamless Seattle include:

  1. Modal integration – walking information is deployed in stations, stops, and interchanges, that will connect transit modes to each other and last mile walking journeys;
  2. Local distinctiveness – a single, agreed city-wide wayfinding standard that will provide a consistent information layer, but will also allow for local content;
  3. Design for all – planning rules to prioritize safe and accessible walking routes, prioritization of content to support people with greater needs, and system design with strong inclusive design principles establishing accessibility of information for all; and,
  4. Systemization – design standards with a high degree of commonality for planning and system design.

Seattle is becoming the second fastest growing city in the US. With this in mind, the city aims to manage the demand for travel generated by this growth and is focused on ensuring walking, rolling, cycling, and transit offer people valid options over driving.

“Seattle is internationally famous for its contributions to popular culture and within the US for improving its transportation system to favour walking, biking and transit,” said Applied’s project director for Seattle, Adrian Bell. “Our wayfinding project became much more than designing signs and directions. The input of community leaders, stakeholders and ambitious city staff encouraged us to create a project that is inclusive and demonstrates that walking, in particular, is the glue that holds the city together.”