One of the biggest problems with planning for better bikeways is knowing where the issues are from the perspective of people riding bikes. We have been searching for a solution for this for awhile and have looked at many options.
The best tool that engineers have to gauge unsafe places to ride bicycles are based on reported collisions. As you can guess, not all collisions are reported, and information can be limited by the situation. The most horrifying implication is those facilities are getting built after-the-fact after people have been hurt or killed on public roadways. What if we could build safer streets before people suffer life-altering injuries or die? This would allow people who are interested in riding a bicycle but concerned about the safety of doing so on our streets the freedom of choosing to ride their bicycle!
We know there are issues out there, but until now, no easy way to document and self-report collisions, near hits, hazards, and even bike theft problems.
The BikeMaps.org app and website gives you 24/7 access to documenting your bicycle experience. It is a living record that is continuously updated by you! Over time, we will collectively build a heat map of issues and concerns that will help local jurisdictions put resources where we need it the most, help prioritize projects and get funding. Ride Redding has obtained local data from the Shasta Regional Transportation Agency about our bikeway infrastructure on our roadways and trails to populate our region on BikeMaps.org with up to date information.
"At BikeMaps we love biking as much as we love maps! Our goal is to map your cycling experience to make biking safer. You know your local cycling trouble spots and we want you to map them. Your knowledge of cycling safety, hazards, and even bike thefts will be analyzed using GIS and statistics to identify hot spots of cycling safety, risk, and crime. We are constantly updating our maps and technology, so send us feedback. And stay tuned for updated safety maps generated from YOUR biking experience." - BikeMaps.org
Ride Redding aims to help all people on bikes by empowering you to report issues and concerns. By populating this map with crowd-sourced information from you, we hope to elevate your concerns to the proper jurisdiction to help prioritize maintenance and safety improvements. This information could potentially be used to help jurisdictions apply for funding, especially where collision data is sparse, but we all know there are safety concerns.
If there are issues and concerns on our streets for you, there will certainly be barriers for the half of the population that might choose to hop on a bike if there were bikeways they felt safe and comfortable to ride on. At Ride Redding, we believe that people should have the freedom to choose to bike, but know that concerns about safety are a real barrier to making that choice.
There will be no need to mark bike lanes or bike parking that currently exists.
Ride Redding has already gathered the regional GIS data for our current cycling infrastructure and the BikeMaps.org team is in the process of populating the map with that data. We are currently we are currently awaiting the data from the county for existing bike facilities and will get that up ASAP. You can, however, make comments about bike lanes or bike parking!
Outreach may get done in small bites at events like at opportunities during Bike Month in May such as the Spring Spin where area officials get a table together and get people to map out their issues and concerns, or maybe at a public workshop. This can be a good way to understand what people think about a particular upcoming project or general concerns. The problem is that you might not have the time to attend, know about the meeting or have the time to sit in front of a table and remember all the issues that you face as a cyclist on Redding area roads..
We at Ride Redding encourage you to use this app and website, become part of the process and help shape your community. It is much easier to make informed decisions about projects with data, and who knows, maybe your report could turn into real change on our streets