Spring has sprung in Idaho and with the warmer weather many of us are waking our bikes up from their long, winter hibernation. Now is the time to start planning your trips and mapping your routes, and Idaho’s Bike Map can help you do that.
The Idaho Bike Map, http://gis.itd.idaho.gov/bikemap *, was developed to aid cyclists in planning the best possible route by providing critical information on the state’s highways and scenic byways – including shoulder width, traffic levels, steep grades, and more. Cyclists can use Idaho Bike Map to explore the state by taking advantage of its scenic byways, beautiful rivers and streams, and friendly communities.
“We launched the bike map as a tool to help cyclists around the state, beginner to advanced, plan their trip safely. Many of Idaho’s highways may not be conducive to cyclists at this point. Knowing the conditions of the road in advance help cyclists to make the best decisions,” said Randy Kyrias, administrator of ITD"s Division of Public Transportation.
Idaho’s Bike Map goes hand-in-hand with the recent launch of Google’s new bike directions. Google’s bike directions, available at http://www.maps.google.com, provide easy route planning for those riding surface streets in Idaho. Simply enter your starting and ending point, choose bicycling, and your best route will show on the map.
While these tools are steps in the right direction, Idaho still has a long way to go to improve the cycling environment. This week, the bike safety bills put forth by Sen. Elliot Werk, died without a Senate vote.
“This is very disappointing,” said Heather Wheeler, Executive Director of CTAI. “Supporting improved environments for cyclists must be a priority in order to provide people in Idaho improved options in their daily transportation. Whether you are riding for recreation or utilizing your bike as your primary mode of transportation, you need to have a safe environment to get from point A to point B.”
Recently, the Alliance for Biking and Walking released their 2010 Benchmarking Report, outlining the biking and walking environment on a national level. The report, available at http://www.moblityidaho.org/Traveler-guide/bicycling, provides interesting statistics regarding bicycling and walking in Idaho:
CTAI will be working closely with Idaho’s bicycling community to advocate for improvement. “Idaho Pedestrian & Bicycle Alliance sees the Idaho Bike Map as an important first step in highlighting where Idaho highways are bike friendly. Like any first effort, it makes clear where improvements will enhance safety and access for both active Idahoans and our many visiting cyclists,” said Molly O’Reilly, President IPBA.