31
Aug 2008
by mark

Research Great Bike Maps

Our community needs a lot more than a bike map. We need a large dose of bike education. While the map itself would take up one side of the document, there is some freedom with what can go on the back of map.

I wanted this map content to be the best possible. First, I collected as many bike maps as I could. I contacted the Indiana Bicycle Coalition, the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to find out which other cities in the state already had bike maps, and how I might get a hold of their maps. All of these organizations were helpful in supplying either consulting, maps or references for further contacts.

However, it was by luck that local cyclist Jane Holman gave the best map I’ve seen: from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our map design and content is based most closely on theirs. It includes several sections of information:

  • Local bicycle laws
  • Local bicycle photos
  • Local bicycle shops
  • How to get a bike on and off a bus rack
  • Biking to Work
  • Infographics, to illustrate key safety points
  • Considerations for Moms and Dad

The “local” portions were easy enough to take care of. (I copied the local bike laws off the city website), and local photographer Jane Holman contributed some photos.

That left three sections of the Albuquerque map that I wanted to model. I was able to get explicit permission in each case to re-use the content directly. The safety graphics were credited to Calgary, Canada and by contacting Ken Richardson there, I was given high quality source files of the same graphics to use for this project.

The “Moms and Dads” text was traced to Kalkomey Enterprises, and I successfully contacted Kurt Kalkomey and received permission to re-use this text as well. The “Biking to Work” text actually originated in Albuquerque, and James Arrowsmith there gave me permission to re-use that.

I really wanted to use the photos to show different ways of cycling– something besides mountain bikes, road bikes and spandex. One photo is of a recumbent bike. (Actually, it’s me…) I also really wanted a photo of a XtraCycle being used as a family bike. No one in town had one at the time, but I think they may be a great antidote to cargo and kid hauling in the face high gas prices, once people discover them. So I got permission to re-use a photo from carfreedays.com of a mother riding a child to school in light snow.

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  • http://bottleworld.net bottleman

    Nice work on the research and Richmond map… a major accomplishment! The Albuquerque map is a super example too. The Oregon Dept. of Transportation used to have a great statewide map with similar features (for bike touring on a larger scale), but it seems to be offline now.
    I think such a map could help people getting comfortable with biking for transport, by encouraging them to try both “bike lanes” (striped areas on larger roads) and “bike boulevards” (quieter, and hopefully signed, sidestreets where a mix of bikes and cars is encouraged). In Portland most people, including me, prefer the bike boulevards — they are much less scary, since they don’t tend to have trucks, and the typical speed is considerably slower.
    Thanks for your work!