Maps and Crashes

21 Jan

Bike Pittsburgh is a fairly young organization with a small staff but they have accomplished much in just over seven years.

Among their many successes, they worked with Pittsburgh design firm Deeplocal to develop an award winning bicycle map, which I keep with me at all times and consult daily. The map is clear and the graphics are superb.

I found an older version of the map hanging in the hallway of my old bike group house, along with bike maps of DC, Chicago, Atlanta, Portland, Virginia, Maryland. I snagged it on the way to the bus station for a one am bus to Pittsburgh to volunteer at the Three Rivers Bioneers Conference.

The 2009 edition is more compact, glossy, modern. It is essential to any newcomer and also long term residents with information about bike routes, hill difficulty, amenities like Free Ride!, a volunteer run bike co-op.

One useful resource Bike Pittsburgh provides is a map variation charting the crashes that have been reported. Only one accident has been marked on the North Side where I live! What does this mean? Good drivers? Good bikers? Lack of reporting? If a bicycle falls on a quiet urban street, does anyone count it?

I’m excited to see Pittsburgh’s biking scene grow and to see what creative ideas are generated by Bike Pittsburgh’s staff, members, and disconnected cyclists to promote bikes as a free/cheap, healthy, invigorating, sustainable form of transportation.

And now that I know where the problem areas are, I can be more diligent. Now I’d like to borrow from WABA and copy their “What to do after a traffic crash” spoke card and distribute it in those areas particularly.

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