Luckily I have had the pleasure of living in a few cities that find bicycle commuting important and recognize the best way to get people out of their cars and onto a bicycle is to make that step a bit less frightening. Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC are just a few cities that have taken steps to add bike lanes to their streets and provide maps of these bicycle-friendly streets to residents and visitors.
Usually these map legends point out bike trails, on-street bike lanes, and streets that are recommended for bicycling without marked lanes. Though helpful for the seasoned bicycle commuter, a first timer may not be ready to venture out just yet.
The city of Austin is taking this to the next step and has developed a mapping system that “prioritizes rider comfort in its symbology.” The color-coded bike network is “keyed to the real-world experience a person can expect when cycling on any given street.”
Read more about the city of Austin’s bike map on The Atlantic Cities: “Bike Maps That Give Riders the Info They Actually Need” by Sarah Goodyear.
by Deborah Steinberg, ASLA Professional Practice Coordinator