Archive for January, 2013

Indiegogo

Posted by Doug Shidell, January 29th , 2013.

We’re less than six weeks from launching the new Bikeverywhere website, and already thinking about enhancements with Phase 2. Those upgrades, however, take money, so next week I’ll be launching an Indiegogo Campaign, a crowd funding project to get us started working on site upgrades almost as soon as the new bikeverywhere.com is launched.

Crowd funding is a fascinating way to raise money. In my case, I will make the pitch, explaining that Bikeverywhere is a better way to find bike routes online. The main pitch will be with a video and the Campaign description. I also offer “Perks” for backing the project. The basic perk will be an extended membership on the site for $12 and a membership plus Bikeverywhere t-shirt for $25. From there it goes up to the ridiculous level of a $10,000 backer. In the unlikely event that one of those would surface, they will get a three day luxury bike and houseboat tour on the Mississippi River for the backer and up to 7 companions. Probably not worth the cost, but if a backer believes in the project to that level, he or she should get something besides the satisfaction of seeing a great website.

If I reach my goal of $8000 in backing, I get the funds. (If not, no one is out any money). At that point we’ll look at the list of potential enhancements, check it against requests from members and compare to the amount of money available for upgrades. Then we begin designing and coding the enhancements.

If I don’t get the money, the same process will happen, but it will take much longer to improve the site.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

New Bike Routes Added for Chicago

Posted by Doug Shidell, January 21st , 2013.

Thanks to the generosity of the League of Illinois Bicyclists   the new interactive Bikeverywhere website now has bike routes to Metra Stations in over a dozen cities, plus more complete bike routes in Aurora and Rockford. This active group has also mapped out bike routes for Champaign-Urbana, Decatur, the Quad Cities and Springfield. We will be adding those routes when we expand the area covered by Bikeverywhere. The new Bikeverywhere website with Chicago area bike routes, will be live in Mid-March.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Bicyclists and Motorists Equally Likely to Cause Crashes

Posted by Doug Shidell, January 15th , 2013.

A 10 year study of bicycle/motorist crashes in Minneapolis found that bicyclists and motorists were almost equally to blame for bike car crashes. The study looked at 270 crashes  and found that motorists caused accidents when they didn’t see bicyclists and bicyclists caused accidents when they failed to stop at stop signs or rode the wrong way in traffic. Most accidents, 81 percent, occurred within 50 feet of an intersection, especially intersections with high traffic. The multi-angled junction of Cedar, Franklin and Minnehaha avenues led the list with 20 crashes over 10 years. The report urged the city to continue some of the changes they have recently adapted, including extending bike markings through congested intersections and using dashed lines to indicate where motorists can cross a bike path to make a turn. It also recommended that motorists and bicyclists receive even handed enforcement.

 

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Bikeverywhere is Adding Digital Maps!

Posted by Doug Shidell, January 14th , 2013.

Watch for an exciting new addition to Bikeverywhere this spring. We’ll be launching our new interactive digital map of the Upper Midwest. The map will include all of the bike routes and trails you can find on our Twin Cities, Madison and Milwaukee Bike Maps, plus much more. Here’s a sampling of the bike route information we’ve already compiled for the site:

Minnesota: State bike trails from the Minnesota DNR, bike routes from Bicycle Vacation Guide, bike trails and road routes around Winona, Northfield, Faribault, Fargo/Moorhead, Alexandria, and Brainerd/Baxter. Nice Ride bike share stations and a couple of gravel road routes in the Grand Marais area

Wisconsin: The Wisconsin DOT file of bike routes in all 72 counties, bike routes and trails in Green Bay/Brown County. LaCrosse, Jefferson County, through routes for long distance tourists. Still to be added: Wausau and Marathon County Bike routes.

Illinois: Northern Illinois Bike trails, Chicago bike routes, routes and trails in Rockford, Aurora, Joliet, Naperville, Will County and Des Plaines County

Still to come: Public bathrooms, drinking fountains, parking, landmarks, public art, photos, bicycle friendly businesses

We’ve got tools for creating, printing, sharing and storing your own custom routes and the option to add your favorite bike related information to the site.

Don’t worry. We aren’t getting rid of the printed maps. Stay tuned.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

The Milwaukee-Racine county line gap

Posted by Doug Shidell, January 1st , 2013.

The area around the Milwaukee-Racine county line remains the biggest obstacle to a bicyclist riding between Milwaukee and Chicago. In recent years, fresh paving on highway 32 has improved conditions, but the gap has grown with the closing of the railroad crossing on 7 mile Road. Several new sections of bike trail in the gap are promising, but they do not yet add up to a coherent solution. To illustrate, consider the route of a south-bound rider wishing to use the new trails:

From the Oak Leaf trail take 5th Avenue south through South Milwaukee and Oak Creek. At Ryan Road take the shoulder of highway 32 southbound. At Oakwood, go east, crossing the railroad tracks, and then south on a WE Energies service road. Take the new bike trail, crossing the tracks through the maze and then follow the trail to the end of Elm Street. Go west on Elm Street until reaching the bike trail. Follow this trail south to the end of 7-mile Road (the pavement stops at the county line). Go west on 7-mile, south on highway 32 (the shoulder will narrow), and east on 6-mile Road to the Racine county trail.

The rider in a hurry may regard this route as adding considerable distance plus delays at traffic lights and the maze and may choose the highway 32 shoulder. The rider wishing to avoid traffic will find there is still considerable shoulder riding as well as four extra crossings of highway 32. To make this route work there needs to be a bike trail through Bender Park on the north and one connecting 7 and 6-mile roads on the south.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Navigating Downtown Milwaukee

Posted by Doug Shidell, January 1st , 2013.

Downtown Milwaukee is the hub of several bike trails: two beer-line trails on the north, the Hank Aaron trail on the west, and several trails with the common Oak Leaf name–leading south to Bay View, north along Lake Michigan, and towards Shorewood along a former railroad right of way. Once the trail ends, however, the rider is pretty much on his or her own on navigating downtown and getting to another trail. A low-cost step in overcoming this problem would be a system of signage that would lead the rider from one trail to another, or to other destinations. A model might be Chicago’s bicycle sign that list destinations and the distance to them.

A more ambitious step would be dedicated bike “superhighways” through downtown, similar to those in Montreal, London, and many other cities.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News

Sturtevant: Getting past the tracks.

Posted by Doug Shidell, January 1st , 2013.

Over the past few years, a bike trail has been extended from Racine to Sturtevant. To continue west, however, requires somehow getting past the railroad tracks. Between highways 11 and 20 there is no crossing. Highway 11 is busy with no shoulders, a bicycle hell. Highway 20 is busier but with wide shoulders, doable but not fun, especially for the west-bound traveler who has to cross the highway twice. A possible cheap solution would be placing a barrier separating the shoulder from the roadway, making it a bike path.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News