Friday, May 14, 2010

Mercer County, NJ Bike Map Finalized

The Mercer County Bike Map has graduated from its beta status and will be a permanent fixture on the DVRPC website. The bike map was created when DVRPC did an initial computer analysis of the roads using a "Bicycle Level of Service Model". It that was then opened to the public, who provided comments and offered changes. More than 100 changes were made to the maps due to the comments.

The final version also takes advantage of the Google Maps Bicycling Layer and it is hoped that at some point the data will be incorporated into the Google bike routing application. But it is unclear right now when that will happen.

The data collected by DVRPC for the bike map is also being integrated into the Mercer County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. This plan is the first NJDOT bike/ped plan project that is being done at the County level and that plan should be completed later this year.

DVRPC believes that the Mercer County map is a model for online bike maps in the other 8 counties in the region. However County (or City) Transportation officials must make a formal request to the Commission because DVRPC needs to incorporate the project into its work program.


Andrew J. Besold said...

Not bad. Actually, pretty damned good!

I only disagree with the ratings of one or two roads out of hundreds that I feel were appropriately evaluated.

One thing that I found odd was that I had to activate the layers for "Unfavorable" and "Unbikeable" Major Roads as will as "Favorable" and "Unfavorable" Minor Roads. At first I thought the map was incomplete.

Finally, I think it would be good to indicate which roads and trails are unpaved. This detail can be of great help for those of the skinny tire set. And dirt roads almost always have very little traffic which makes them favorable routes for those riding bikes equipped for such surfaces.

Again, a job well done. I'm impressed and it takes a lot to impress me!

Andrew J. Besold said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew J. Besold said...

Actually after a closer look, I disagree with the ratings of about a dozen or more roads, all of them considered major roads. It is my opinion that a select number of roads rated as "Unfavorable" are actually "Fair".

Case in point is Washington Ave from Princeton Borough to Princeton Junction, a road that I have ridden many times, even during rush hour. It's quite wide and has a shoulder for much of it (although the shoulder has too much debris and sand in it). I'd give it a "Fair" rating and not the "Unfavorable" rating they give it. The same goes for Cherry Hill Road on the other side of Princeton Borough.

Still, overall, a very good product. Probably the best county bike map ever produced for a New Jersey County.