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PBOT unveils series of recreational cycling maps

Posted by on September 16th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Vernonia, a popular riding destination for Portlanders, is one of several areas that now have bike routes mapped thanks to PBOT.

Bike touring, camping, and long distance rides have become increasingly popular in the Portland region. More people than ever are heading out of town for a few days by bike, challenging themselves with 100+ mile rides, and using our light rail system to do quick overnighters in the local mountains and other natural areas.

The new maps include useful
information for bike riders.

Now, PBOT has made your bike exploration possibilities even more do-able thanks to veteran superstar map guru Jeff Smith. Jeff has just completed a series of 11 new recreational cycling maps that help take a lot of the mystery about which roads and routes are best.

The new maps are available online for free via PDFs you can download and print. The routes surround the Portland metro area, from just north of Salem up to Clatskanie, and from the Coast Range to the Cascades. The new maps are extremely useful because they include information such as traffic volumes, whether or not hey have shoulders and/or bike lanes, elevation changes and hills, camping sites, and various points of interest.

Here’s a list of the new maps, with links to PDFs:

Start planning your adventures! More info on PBOT’s website.

β€” In other mapping news today, the Portland Tribune has a great article about the history of Metro’s Bike There map and Jeff Smith himself is co-presenting with Metro’s Matthew Hampton about maps at a brown bag discussion at the City of Portland building.

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  • Charley September 16, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    O M G !!!
    This is freaking awesome!!!!!! Go PBOT! I’ve been waiting for a long time to get to see a Washington County bike map (there is none, currently, which is dumb, considering how much good riding is out there), and these PDF’s will help fill the gap. Not to mention feed hours of drooling trip planning.
    Triple thanks,
    C

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  • Anonymous September 16, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Wow, this is a really nice sent maps. Thanks to Jeff for all the hard work!

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  • A.K. September 16, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    This is very cool, and provides some useful information about side-roads I have been eying as nice cycling routes.

    Is there one “giant” PDF that has all of these maps combined into one file? That would make it easier to scroll around and explore the whole thing.

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  • Spiffy September 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    awesome!

    too bad I don’t ride that far…

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  • ScottG September 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you PBOT! Providing information about traffic volumes and shoulder width is *exactly* the info I want when I’m planning a long-distance ride. This is really cool and useful to me.

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  • Michael Wolfe September 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Jeff, these are fantastic. I looked them all over, and the only inaccuracy I can see is that Perrydale road between Perrydale and 99W has a couple miles of impassable gravel in the middle of it. I’ve ridden many miles of gravel roads on my bike, and this was the only one that defeated me — really deep and loose gravel. But beautiful and useful work, really first rate.

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  • Carl September 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Go Jeff, go! This is just what I need to feel confident venturing outside of the UGB.

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  • bikieboy September 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    A.K.(#3) – good idea. Got to see what the file size might be, & what our IT folks say. Plus, the “stitching” might be tough — but I’ll keep it in mind.

    Michael (#6) – keep looking, and let me know any inaccuracies you find. I’ll make a note to fix the Perrydale info – no one likes to find unexpected gravel.

    Since i haven’t ridden everything on the maps (by a long shot) I had to rely on a lot of secondary sources – existing bike maps, google maps, DeLorme Topo software, several Oregon atlases, etc.

    The traffic volume categorizations should be very accurate, as they’re derived from County/City traffic counts. Shoulder width for State highways is from ODOT data, which seems pretty good, and also from existing bike maps for county roads. It’s a little spotty, but errs on the side of caution: showing no shoulder when there’s no data.

    If you find anything you think is needs correcting, please don’t hesitate to email me – jeff.smith@portlandoregon.gov

    Accuracy counts, especially with bike maps.

    Jeff S./PBoT

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  • GlowBoy September 16, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Does the map actually indicate shoulder width, or merely the presence of 3 foot wide shoulders? I wish this wouldn’t echo the precedent of ODOT’s statewide bike map. 3 feet is considered inadequate for a bike lane on a low speed urban street, and is insanely inadequate for a rural highway unless traffic counts are low.

    I once had a harrowing experience riding for about 15 miles along an Oregon highway with 3 foot shoulders — with 18 wheelers blasting by me at 60-65mph at the rate of one or two a minute. That highway (US 97 from Shaniko to Criterion) shows up as “having a shoulder” on the ODOT map. Unless the map tells me which roads have 5-6 foot shoulders (and an awful lot of Oregon highways don’t) the information is not useful to me.

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  • bigB September 16, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    It is nice to see the maps, but i’m kind of color blind so the map doesn’t work for me so much, nor do regular city bike maps. I can’t really tell the difference between where i want to ride (low traffic) and where i don’t want to ride (high traffic) unless the key is right next to the road. Just my gripe, but it probably affects others too.

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  • SilkySlim September 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    These are great maps, thank you Jeff and PDOT. I am actually going to go through the hassle of buying some fresh ink so I can print all of these out!

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  • CaptainKarma September 17, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Things just get better & better for bicyclists around here just about on a daily basis!

    A couple comments: If you print these out, you might want to go to kinko’s or someplace and have a color laser printout unless you know someone with a color laser printer. Regular printers’ ink will dribble & drooble all over at the first sign of moisture, hich seems to have re-asserted itself into the scenario….I’m not sure if laminating will help ink jet prints, but certainly a laser print….

    Also, the Columbia County Car Free Vacation Guide has some of these same or similar routes laid out (six, I believe). Doesn’t give traffic density, per se, but does show some other things, like brew pubs, eh? Also has a schedule of bike-rack equipped shuttle buses leaving & returning from portland and other points to get you out of town and out to the trails if you want.

    Not to take anything away from these new maps,which are great- I’d get & use both together!

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  • CaptainKarma September 17, 2010 at 1:18 am

    Things just get better & better for bicyclists around here just about on a daily basis!

    A couple comments: If you print these out, you might want to go to kinko’s or someplace and have a color laser printout unless you know someone with a color laser printer. Regular printers’ ink will dribble & drooble all over at the first sign of moisture, which seems to have re-asserted itself into the scenario….I’m not sure if laminating will help ink-jet prints, but it certainly would for a laser printout.

    Also, the Columbia County Car Free Vacation Guide has some of these same or similar routes laid out (six, I believe). Doesn’t give traffic density, per se, but does show some other things, like brew pubs, eh? Also has a schedule of bike-rack equipped shuttle buses leaving & returning from portland and other points to get you out of town and out to the trails if you want.

    Not to take anything away from these new maps,which are great- I’d get & use both together!

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  • GlowBoy September 17, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I also want to express that despite my concern (#9) about the 3′ shoulder indication, I think these maps are awesome! I just looked through them all and started imagining a whole bunch of long rides to do when I have the time.

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  • Steve B. September 17, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    AWESOME!!!!!!!

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  • matt picio September 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Great job, Jeff, as always. Thanks for sending out the early versions to many of us for field-checking. Any chance of there being a Google Earth kmz file of these in the future?

    Hey, anyone out there know what happened to the Washington County Bike Map? I still own a couple copies, but can’t find info on it online anymore. Did they just give up entirely? Multnomah County’s could use an update. Clackamas’ bike map is beautiful, though it has a few omissions and inaccuracies.

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  • Ken D March 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Very nice maps. Note: The Banks-Vernonia Trail is now completely paved.

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