City of Phoenix Introduces New Map Tool

Phoenix has a shiny new toy where people can log on and essentially rate your own bike routes.
This week the city launched a “Wiki Maps” site that acts with a GIS interface to allow users the ability to draw their own bike routes and indicate them as “high-stress”, “low stress”, or a “Route I’d Like to Ride.” It also lets users put points on the map that you’d like to bike, places to bike (which could be a destination or a particularly well-designed feature), as well as let the city know of barriers to biking.

The feedback is somewhat limited in it uses radio buttons for some of the responses that limit you to only choosing one thing. For example, if you’d like to indicate a barrier to biking you may choose only one of: Intersection without signal, signal without bicycle detection, poor maintenance, highway interchange, no bicycle access/connection, high speed/busy traffic, dangerous intersection, narrow path/lane, bushes/tree branches blocking path, or other. It does give you 1,000 characters to expand on your thoughts in the Other/Comments box on all features.

Rather than littering the map with multiple lines or points overlapping routes, you may click on an item and agree, disagree, or abstain from a decision on that particular line or point, as well as add your own comments. This way we can keep the map clean and simultaneously let the city know a) how many people are or would like to use that route, and b) what level of rider agrees or disagrees with any particular designation. As of right now, Central Avenue north of Van Buren has a high-stress, low-stress, and places I’d like to ride line all together and multiple comments for each segment. I’m particularly impressed by the person who rides Thomas from 35th Avenue to 44th Street nearly daily, and has taken the opportunity to mark that segment as a high-stress route.

To add your comments, routes, and points, go to the following website and sign up. Make sure you share this with all your friends, especially if they would fall into the “interested but concerned” group of cyclists so they can let the city know there is strong latent demand for better bicycle infrastructure and considering what is in place, the traffic volume of people on bikes in Phoenix is way higher than it should be but not nearly as high as it can be.


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