On Thursday, June 21 the city of Boulder, Colorado launched GOBikeBoulder.net, a new online mapping service that provides individualized bike routes, much like MapQuest and Google Maps do for cars. Users are encouraged to test the new site and submit feedback online.
GOBikeBoulder.net is a one-of-a-kind online tool that offers interactive routing for those traveling by bike around the city. The routing includes not only a map for the rider, but also turn-by-turn directions. Users also are able to find out estimates on how many calories they burn pedaling their route, how many feet they climb and how much gas money they save.
“As far as we know, this tool is the first of its kind created specifically for bike routing,” said GO Boulder Program Manager Martha Roskowski. “We’re excited to launch it just in time for Walk and Bike Week.”
“We are still working out a few kinks and we continue to refine the functionality of this new site. However, we’re now in a place where we’d like the public to test it and tell us what they think. We welcome everyone’s feedback,” said Roskowski.
The tool allows the user to select between routes that stay primarily off-street or on-street. If a user chooses “off street,” the route mapped will stay on multi-use paths as much as possible. However, if they choose “on street,” the route will keep them on the roadway either in a dedicated on-street bicycle lane, side by side with motorists or in on a dedicated bike route where cyclists and motorists share the travel lane, unless a nearby path is considered a more direct route.
“Boulder has over 300 miles of bike lanes, routes, designated shoulders and paths,” said Roskowski. “This tool will help bicyclists navigate Boulder’s bike system safely. Our goal was to help riders discover the best routes to take by getting them on the bike system as soon as possible and keeping them on it for as long as possible. Not every route provided will be the fastest route. Sometimes, it’s the safer route instead.”
Users of the site are asked to register first. While it’s not mandatory to register, registrations help program organizers track use and usefulness The data will be used to apply for additional grant money that could be used to expand the program to include more tools and possibly a larger geographic area.
Those that register will receive a follow-up questionnaire. For completing the questionnaire, participants will receive a coupon for a free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cone and will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a Colorado bike getaway for two. Those that are the first to register will be given the choice of a free cyclometer or bike map holder. When these supplies run out, registered users will receive the recently updated Boulder bike/pedestrian map.