Saturday, January 30, 2010

interactive "bikeability" map for Mercer County - need your input

At the request of Mercer County and the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) has developed an interactive "bikeability" map for Mercer County to show how comfortable roadways are for cyclists, and to tap collective local knowledge about 'desirable' cycling routes in Mercer County.


The DVRPC hope you will take 'desirable' in both senses. That is, they want to see 'user-submitted bike routes' that are already great to ride on, as well as routes that you wish were better to ride on if it were not for some problem with them. They hope for two results from this project. One is a finished map for cyclists to plan routes that have been scouted by others. For this, they would like your comments to help us improve our bikeability dataset. The other is information that Mercer County and other roadway jurisdictions can use to identify and prioritize improvements that will make more routes bicycle-friendly. Aside from designating priority routes, you can make a variety of other comments, and also -- importantly for our prioritization -- rate other users' submissions.

As you can imagine, making a map will be a lot faster and easier than making improvements, which may require alternatives analysis, engineering design, environmental impact review, and, most difficult in these economic times, a lot of money. However, the routes you prioritize and the issues you identify can help shape those long-term decision-making processes.

We hope that the interactive map is user friendly (but please spend some time with the map before you start commenting -- click on and off legend items, navigate around, etc.) and self-explanatory (please read through all the tabs on the introductory splash screen!). The comment period will close on Friday, March 12, after which we will be modifying our bikeability dataset based on your comments and moving forward with a County Bike Master Plan that considers your suggested routes.

Thanks in advance for taking time to enter comments or evaluate comments left by others. And please forward this message to others whom you think would have good comments to share. Here's the link to the map:  http://www.dvrpc.org/bikemercer/ 

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