For the last two years, I’ve mapped the flows of the Nice Ride bikes. I’ve always been slightly dissatisfied with the results, since bikes were obviously shown taking routes that any sane Nice Rider would never take (Hennepin Avenue between Lake and the bottleneck, for example). Try as I might, I could never get ArcGIS to prioritize trails, lanes and bike boulevards sufficiently.
Enter the good people at Cyclopath. Cyclopath is something like a bike route wiki, in that it is constantly updating it’s database of bike routes using ratings from users. So every street in their database has a rating from bad to awesome (actually 0 to 4). And this database includes the whole metro and beyond. Best of all, they were willing to share it!
The latest version of ArcGIS has a new “restriction preference” setting, meaning there are six levels of preference for a link from “Highly Avoid” to “Highly Prefer”. So I combined cyclopath’s street ratings with these preference settings and got a new and better route analyzer. Here are the results:
- Hennepin is obviously not so popular anymore, save in downtown where there are more Nice Ride Stations.
- The Cedar Lake Trail got a little more popular, perhaps 500 trips in some locations, since it was a Highly Preferred route.
- West River Parkway south of the Washington Avenue bridge got a lot less popular (although crossings at Franklin stayed nearly the same).
- There is generally just a lot less jigging and jogging on small streets as trips tend to condense onto major routes (see the major difference on Summit Avenue in Saint Paul).
Here is a version with a base street map for orientation: