Navigating campus easier for first responders and visitors

Posted: June 15, 2017 6:00 a.m.

One of the new wayfinding signs recently installed on the University’s main campus.
One of the new wayfinding signs recently installed on the University’s main campus. Photo: U of R Photography

Creating the ability to navigate the campus safely, easily and quickly has been the primary goal of the University’s wayfinding initiative. The initiative, which has been underway since 2014, is nearing completion with the recent installation of street and pedestrian directional signs including vehicle lay by signs. By year end more than 100 visible and easier to read signs will have been installed.

Pat Patton, Director of Security and Operations, says that in addition to the on-campus population – nearly 15,000 students, along with faculty and staff – first responders such as police, fire and ambulance services will be beneficiaries of the improved signage.

“The safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is of paramount importance; the improvements we are making to directional signage will augment the other safety features on campus,” says Patton.  

“Currently, we experience weekly emergencies requiring urgent navigation by people who may visit campus infrequently due to shift work or other factors – we want to do everything we can to make emergency response as effective as possible, and this project is another step in that direction.”

There is also significant taxi and courier traffic on campus, as well as up to 1,000 daily visitors who attend lectures, participate in recreation programs, seek medical services or host business meetings.

The wayfinding initiative was as an integral part of the University’s Master Plan. The first phase of the initiative saw improved lighting, logical foot traffic pathways, landscaping and welcoming signage installed at Kramer Boulevard and Wascana Parkway (north) entrances to campus. The second phase of the initiative – installing directional signs – was completed in May. The final step of naming streets and assigning civic street addresses is slated for early fall.