Gary Webster’s statements about TTC signage, June 2007
I made a presentation (“deputation”) to the TTC at its meeting on 2007.06.14. Among other things, I said that the current TTC sign standard was a copy of New York’s, but the kind of copy you’d get if you saw a photo of the New York system on TV once. TTC Commissioner Bill Saundercook asked me about Massimo Vignelli’s sign system for New York and how well TTC signage assisted with “flow” through the system.
Saundercook asked Acting General Manger Gary Webster a few questions.
- About handwritten signs: “We’ve tried to the greatest extent possible to pass the word,” and we seemed to be doing well, but “we’ve fallen back.”
- Assessment of cost for a new system? “I don’t believe we have done that. Need a review of current sign status first, he said.
- And the current standard is...? How do you go about producing a new sign? We take the opportunity during renovation work and station modernization. We haven’t made the decision to do a complete review.
- But to put up a new sign, like to an entrance, what kind of steps are involved? We have a standard today that we should apply. I would want to confirm that the standard is what we want it to be.
- Are you confident it is where we need it? “Yes, I am.”
- Are we satisfied the standard today adequately moves people through the system? Generally, but there are problems, like at Union, Yonge & Bloor (especially from northbound to Bloor-Danforth). People may not notice the signs are substandard because they are used to them? “We interpret the signs the way they’re intended to be interpreted.” We do address those. We may have a discussion about font.
Chair Giambrone called for a report by the end of the year on replacement of temporary signs (meaning handwritten signs). Amendment: A report on good examples from other cities, exactly what I had suggested six months previous. The motion passed. I suppose this means that TTC will simply E-mail its friends around the world and ask transit systems to self-report on how good their signs are, and to send in very carefully chosen photographs.