What do you know, navigating streets and roadways is different for bicycles than it is for cars. Who'd of guessed? Austin is leading the way with mapping out its streets to make info about them safer, more relevant, and more accurate for local cyclists. Hopefully other communities (cough-AnnArbor-cough) will take note.
"In other words, the majority of people might want to give biking for transport a try, but they’re worried they might not be able to handle the stress and danger of riding on their city’s roads. That 60 percent is the coveted demographic slice that Wilkes and others want to encourage. And for Austin, a better bike map is a key part of an overall strategy to get those folks out and riding.
The city’s map prioritizes rider comfort in its symbology. "We tried to make it real intuitive," says Wilkes, who has been refining the concept for several years now. Bike trails, separated cycle tracks, and what the city terms "quiet streets" – in peaceful, low-traffic neighborhoods – are marked in vivid green. "High comfort" roads are bright blue."Medium comfort" is marked in a darker blue. "Low comfort" is indicated by a cautionary yellow. And red signifies "extremely low comfort," as in, you probably don’t want to go there unless you are one of the rodeo-riding one percent. Directional arrows indicate hills and how steep they are."