Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I know, it sounds sort of like a psychopath with one eye, but really it's the coolest bicycle route finder I've ever seen:

In some ways, it works just like the route finders on mapquest and google, with one major difference - it's for cyclists. If you've ever tried to use one of those programs to find bike routes, you know how frustrating it can be. They aren't aware of off-street trails or bike lanes. They direct you to get on freeways. With cyclopath, you enter a starting and ending point, and you get a bike route.

To test this out, I entered my morning commute - Brackett Park to City Hall. Sure enough, cyclopath directed me to take the route I use: the Greenway to the LRT Trail into downtown. This may not sound like much, but no other mapping program I've ever used has been able to do it.

Even more excitingly for less-experienced cyclists, you can tailor the route to your comfort level by indicating whether bike-friendliness or speed are more important to you. Are you willing to go out of your way to take the most bike-friendly facilities you can? That's the kind of route that cyclopath will give you.

Now we get to the really fun part. Cyclopath is a wiki, meaning that you can edit the map (for a very meta experience, see the wiki definition of wikis here). Know of a patch of road that's particularly bad? Write it in the notes. Is a path you know not on the map? Add it. This tool, if it gets much use, can help aggregate the wisdom of the twin cities bicycle community and make it available to anyone. I can see this being a great help to visitors, first time riders and longtime commuters alike.

So - please use it. The more people use it, the more successful it will be.

One last thing: cyclopath was developed by PhD students at the University. They deserve congratulations and thanks, and this helps point out the great value that the U brings to the city.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home