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Clackamas County launches survey to guide their new bike map

Thursday, March 5th, 2015
(Image: Clackamas County)

Even if you carry a smartphone, there are still a few times when paper does some jobs best. One of those times is the middle of a bike trip.

Clackamas County is updating their Bike It! map and has launched a web survey this month to get advice on what the new version should offer.

Last year, we wrote about the county’s virtual open house to gather information about the best routes through the county to bike in. In this related effort, the county is working to figure out how best to convey route and destination information.


MIT maps show off the big boons of biking for neighborhoods between Chavez and 82nd

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
fastest mode map
In areas coded green, walking is the fastest way to get there from the start location; in areas coded orange, biking; red, cars; and blue, public transit.
(Click to enlarge screenshot. Images from the MIT Media Lab You Are Here Project.)


Metro wants your input for update of ‘Bike There!’ map

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
Detail of Bike There! map.

For those who still rely on printed maps, the best one for the entire region’s cycling routes is Metro’s Bike There! map. First published in 1983, the agency is currently working on a major update for the 9th edition and they want your help to make it the best one ever.

A closer look at Strava’s ‘heat map’ for the Portland region

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
The Strava heat map: What secrets does it hold?

A map showing where users of Strava ride has become a web sensation in the past few days. And it’s easy to see why. The Strava Labs Global Heatmap is an amazing visual resource that shows the route of well over 77 million rides. We decided to take a closer look at the map to see what interesting nuggets it revealed about the Portland region.

But before we do that, it’s worth making a huge note of caution about how this map should be interpreted. Keep in mind that — despite many media outlets claiming it shows “where cyclists ride” — it actually only shows where people who use Strava ride. Because of that it captures only a tiny subset of a city’s overall riding activity. The vast majority of everyday riders don’t even know about Strava. It tends to only be used by more serious riders as a training and route-finding aid. That being said, it’s still a lot of data and it’s still pretty neat to ponder… (more…)

New Washington County bike map worth a look

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

If you haven’t explored the Washington County by bike yet, you’re really missing out. From scenic bikeways to a state park and miles of beautiful rural vistas, the riding is world class.

Now, just in time for the start of spring, the Washington County Visitor’s Association has released a brand new map that puts all the best routes at your fingertips. Sure, GPS devices are swell, but — as we learned recently — there’s no substitute for an accurate printed map that never needs to be recharged.

We got a few copies of the new map here at the office and it’s very nice. The thing that stood out to me was the addition of the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway, a 50-mile route that starts southeast of downtown Hillsboro and meanders its way up to Vernonia via the Banks-Vernonia State Trail.

Allison George with the WCVA says their map is the only place where you can see the bikeway route overlaid with road characteristics such as traffic volume, presence of bike lanes, and so on. Here are some other upgrades George highlighted in the new map: (more…)

New map reveals important key to the future of Portland transportation

Friday, October 4th, 2013
Screen grab of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s Comp Plan Map App.

Forget the free bike map taped to your fridge. Forget the city’s terrific but frequently ignored 20-year bike plan. Forget the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s map of its top 16 regional priorities, and even Metro’s long-term vision of a region with multiple urban centers and a huge grid of mass transit lines.

To understand the potential for where good urban transportation is currently within reach in Portland, you’ve got to look at the map above. Its green area shows “where the street grid meets connectivity standards and where the majority of the streets have sidewalks.”

Without a massive surge of political will, this is likely to be, for decades, the only area of Portland where most people will actually find it appealing to frequently get around without a car.


Finally! An easy web tool to track city transpo projects

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
A screen grab of transportation projects in the Portland planning bureau’s new map app.

Isn’t it great when a local government agency uses the Internet to make political participation much easier?

Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability released a new tool Tuesday that does exactly that. It’s the Google Maps of Portland planning and demographics, and definitely a resource worth knowing about.


Oregon’s Scenic Bikeways make it big with NYC Times Square ad

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
Looks even better in Times Square.

Travel Oregon (a combined effort of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the Oregon Tourism Commission) is continuing their aggressive promotion of Oregon as a premier bicycling destination. Last week they announced the publication of a new map of their Scenic Bikeways system and today they celebrated when Times Square lit up with the news.

Travel Oregon introduced the new map earlier this week. It includes full details on the nine officially-designated Scenic Bikeway routes complete with mile markers, information about nearby parks, campgrounds, lodging, eateries, nearby bike shops, and more. The map is available free from Travel Oregon’s website (where you can order a copy, it’s not available online yet).

And today from New York City, Travel Oregon staffer Kristin Dahl shared a cell phone image of the Scenic Bikeways map announcement being beamed on a jumbotron high above Times Square. Check it out below the jump…


To encourage more riding, PBOT posts maps on bike boulevards

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
New map posted on a signal box at
NE 42nd and Alberta.
(Photo: PBOT)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation does an amazing job making biking and walking maps available. One of my first impressions upon moving here in 2004 was when I ordered some bike maps from them and a few days later say a smiling staffer delivered them to my door (by bike of course!). All told, they hand out about 100,000 of them a year. At Bridge Pedal alone, they passed out 4,000 of their pocket-sized bike maps.

Now they’ve taken their quest to encourage more biking through better knowledge of where the good routes are, to the next level. Yesterday PBOT posted 13 x 27-inch maps on traffic signal boxes at three locations around the city. The locations — SE Clinton and Cesar Chavez, NE Alberta Ct and 42nd, and NE Morris and MLK Jr. Blvd — are all neighborhood greenway streets where PBOT says, “active transportation is the priority.”

PBOT says this is a pilot project to see how the maps are received and whether it makes sense to put more of them. The maps are specific to the locations they’re posted in. Here’s more from PBOT: (more…)

Google to host “MapUp” event in Portland Thursday

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Google will be in town Thursday for a “MapUp” event to raise are awareness of (and participation in) their Google Map Maker feature.

Map Maker is Google’s attempt to let anyone edit its vaunted map and have the additions go public to its millions of users. The application lets people add in their favorite short-cuts, places, favorite bike routes, and so on. Since people on bikes tend to interact more intimately with their surroundings and rely on shortcuts and safe route suggestions more than other road users, mapping technology like this can be very useful. (more…)

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