511 SERVICE ADDS ONLINE BICYCLE MAPPING
511 BikeMapperSM Makes Bike-to-Work Day Easy
John Goodwin, 510.817.5862
OAKLAND, Calif., April 19, 2005 . . . As part of its ongoing effort to promote bicycling as a viable option for more travelers, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) today added an interactive online bicycle mapping tool to its popular www.511.org Web site. The free 511 BikeMapperSM service contains maps of all existing off-street bicycle paths, on-street bike lanes and designated bike routes in the nine-county Bay Area, allowing cyclists to specify where they want to go, review what bikeways are available within the specified areas, and print the appropriate maps.
“511 BikeMapperSM helps bicyclists ride smarter and safer,” commented MTC Commissioner and Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey. “As a cyclist myself, I know how important it is to locate available bikeways. It’s especially important when you’re riding in an unfamiliar area, or if you’re looking for a new route near your home, school or workplace. And with Bike-to-Work Day coming up on May 19, the timing couldn’t be better.”
The 511 BikeMapperSM is part of a nationwide trend toward online bicycle mapping and is the first one-stop resource for bicycling maps that cover the entire nine-county Bay Area. The 511 BikeMapperSM does not automatically determine the best route or provide turn-by-turn directions. Rather, it displays bike paths, bike lanes and bike routes within areas you specify — by city, zip code or address — and provides tools to interact with the map and to print maps yourself. This allows you to see all available options and decide for yourself which route to take for bike trips.
Among the innovative features of the 511 BikeMapperSM is a “Show Slope” option that allows users to identify hilly portions of bike routes with grades of 5 percent or more. Varying slopes are identified by color. The 511 BikeMapperSM database encompasses more than 3,000 miles of bicycle paths, on-street bike lanes and local streets that are designated as bike routes.
“511 BikeMapperSM is a dynamic resource that will become even more powerful as time goes on,” said Kinsey, explaining that some communities have not yet taken inventory of their bicycle facilities or have not mapped their bike paths, lanes and routes. “We’ll develop a richer database as more cities and counties take stock of their bikeways and start feeding that data into 511.”
The database also will expand as new bike paths are built, new on-street bike lanes are striped and additional streets are designated as bike routes.
Kinsey stressed that computer users play a key role in fine-tuning the 511 BikeMapperSM database as well. “We’ve carefully screened the information, but it’s a brand new product. So a few inaccuracies could still turn up. We’re urging BikeMapperSM users to e-mail us if they have a correction or addition, and to check back with www.511.org for periodic updates.” The e-mail address for 511 BikeMapperSM feedback is email@example.com.
The 511 BikeMapperSM is the latest in a suite of new traveler information services, such as transit trip planning and up-to-the-minute driving times on Bay Area freeway routes, that have been added to the www.511.org Web site since its launch in late 2002. Information about Bike-to-Work Day, as well as the location of bicycle facilities, links to bicycle clubs and coalitions, and the Bike Buddy matching program — which helps match experienced bicyclists with novice riders who want to make bicycling part of their regular travel patterns — can be found on the www.511.org bicycle home page. Information about carrying bikes on Bay Area trains, buses and ferries can be found on both the bicycle and transit pages at www.511.org. Comprehensive Bay Area travel information also is available toll free via phone at 511.
MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Funding for the 511 BikeMapperSM is provided by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
Metropolitan Transportation Commission • 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, California 94607
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