Rethinking the Urban Bike Map for the 21st Century

Nate Wessel, Michael Widener


“Bike maps,” commonly produced by city governments to encourage bicycling, tend to rely heavily on subjective recommendations aimed at an ideal “typical cyclist.” Such a typical cyclist is increasingly illusory as people take up cycling for ever more diverse and practical purposes. In order to make bike maps useful for a general audience, we need to rethink some of the basic assumptions these maps have been making. The question should be: what do all cyclists want to know, and how can this information be quantified and depicted such that cyclists can use it to make informed decisions? With this question foremost in mind, we explain the development of a bike map for Cincinnati, Ohio that (almost) completely avoids unquantifiable judgments and, we hope, lights the way for future development of the bike map genre.


bicycle; bike map; Cincinnati; cycling; infrastructure; transportation

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