Published May 17, 2005
Volume 13, Number 5

511 BikeMapper Gives Cyclists Easy Access to Route Info

Bike Map511
This map of bike trails around Pleasanton (left) was accessed from the 511.org homepage (right).

Bicycling is one of the best ways to travel. Whether you’re commuting, exercising, or just having fun—or even doing all three at once—biking the Bay Area is a great way to get around while enjoying the outdoors.

Thanks to the new 511 BikeMapper service, it’s easier than ever to find detailed information about bicycle routes all over the region. The 511 BikeMapper is the latest addition to the MTC’s popular 511 service, which allows both web and telephone access (by dialing 511) to a suite of traveler information services such as transit trip planning and real-time information about driving times and accidents on Bay Area freeways.

Simply access the 511 web site at www.511.org and select “BikeMapper Tool” from the “Bicycling” menu and you’ll be taken to a new page which will allow you to enter a city or zip code, a county, or even the origin and destination of your bicycle trip. From there, you’ll be taken to an interactive map showing Class I, II, and III bikeways—off-street bike paths, roads with designated bike lanes, and on-street bike routes.

The 511 BikeMapper does not automatically determine the best route or provide turn-by-turn directions. Rather, it displays bike paths, bike lanes and bike routes within the area you specify and provides tools to interact with that map and print it. This allows you to see all available options and decide for yourself which route to take.

One feature which will certainly be welcomed by cyclists is a “Show Slope” option that allows users to identify the portions of the listed bike routes with a five percent or greater grade, with varying slopes identified by color. This innovative feature brings easy access to information that had previously only been available on topographic maps.

While the BikeMapper database is still growing—some communities have not yet provided bikeway data to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the San Francisco Bay Area and developers of the 511 service—BikeMapper currently has information on over 3,000 miles of bicycle paths, on-street bike lanes, and bike routes in the nine-county area. Additional coverage will be added as new bike paths are built, new on-street bike lanes are striped and additional streets are designated as bike routes.

The MTC is also encouraging BikeMapper users to report any errors or omissions from the site. The e-mail address for 511 BikeMapper feedback is bikemapper@mtc.ca.gov.

Information regarding the location of bicycle facilities, links to bicycle clubs and coalitions, and details on the Bike Buddy matching program, which helps match experienced bicyclists with novice riders who want to make bicycling part of their regular commute, can be found on the www.511.org bicycle home page. Information about carrying bikes on area trains, buses, and ferries can also be found on both the bicycle and transit pages at www.511.org.


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