Wayfinding Zuidoostflank

by Julia Vermaas

Julia Vermaas, , student van de Wageningen Universiteit, heeft onderzoek gedaan naar de mogelijkheden om de gebruiksgemak van fietsroutes in Amsterdam Zuidoost te verbeteren. Voor dit onderzoek heeft zij verschillende interviews afgenomen. In dit artikel treft u een samenvatting en het onderzoeksrapport.

Every time we move around in the environment, we engage in wayfinding. Wayfinding refers to the cognitive process of absorbing cues from the environment and with those, create a path to a certain destination. The absence of recognizable clue, like a landmark, could result in unsuccessful wayfinding: in other words, we get lost. This can result in stress, panic and/or a feeling of discomfort. Therefore, in the case of cyclists, wayfinding affects their bicycle experience and behavior. This research explores to what extend the current wayfinding system of Amsterdam Zuidoost affects the bicycle experience and how the wayfinding system can be improves. This research is motivated by the aim of the municipality of Amsterdam to enlarge the percentage of cyclists in Amsterdam Zuidoost by changing transportation behavior from using the car to using more sustainable modes of transport, like the bicycle. This is necessary because by 2040 the number of inhabitants will double from 100.000 to 200.000 in Amsterdam Zuidoost, which will lead to a 46% increase of movements.

To generate an answer to these questions this research combines theories based on literature and data retrieved from interviews. Chapter two discussed the theoretical framework. The definition of wayfinding is outlined and the relationship between wayfinding and bicycle behavior is explained. It provides a better understanding for the complex character of bicycle behavior and concludes that wayfinding does affect this, however, it is not the only factor. In chapter three the applied methods for this research are outlined. In this research qualitative data collection, in the form of interviews and bike along interviews is used. The next chapter showcases the results of the interviews which show that the process of wayfinding in Zuidoost does lead to frustration for some interviewees. Also, it creates an overview of bottleneck areas, which gives information on where to improve the wayfinding system. Furthermore, it lists the most mentioned landmarks which are used as points of recognition and could therefore be used in the future wayfinding system. Lastly, chapter five summarizes the findings of the literature and interviews to generate a final answer to the research questions. It summarizes where and what could be changed regarding the wayfinding in Amsterdam Zuidoost. This chapter end with a suggestion for a new type of wayfinding system: using “route signs”, that visually connect landmarks and destinations into a route. This system would make it easier for (future) cyclists to move around in Amsterdam Zuidoost and beyond.

Afbeelding credits

Icon afbeelding: Fietsbeleid Gemeente Amsterdam