Your comments are welcome!!
Darren Shock, GCAT member and local urban planner, spends a considerable amount of time thinking and worrying about how we can move around better in the City of Guelph. As part of a one-car family of four, the last few years of his life have involved a lot of time on two-wheels, in all seasons and with or without kids aboard for the ride. While he appreciates investments that have been made, he thinks we have a long way to go on creating an active transportation network that works for everyone.
A few weeks ago, he was inspired by an article he read in Bloomberg City Lab. Here’s the idea: Make maps for bike infrastructure as if the lanes, trails, and paths constituted a connected transit system.
With time to spare and an interest in maps, Darren put together a transit-style spider map for the “network” of cycling infrastructure in Guelph.
Here is his explanation of the “rules” used to create the map and his initial observations:
1. Priority was to create a “network” of connected routes like a transit spider map. That results in some gaps in the East and West, since their lanes aren’t really connected to the N-S spine along Gordon or the E-W routes through downtown. If it’s on the map, but not connected, it’s there because it is either almost connected (geographically close), almost all-ages-all-abilities (AAA) infra. (e.g. Woodlawn or Eastview MUPs), or leads to a major destination (e.g. Dawson to YMCA).
2. Major trails are included (e.g. downtown, river trails), but more passive trails (e.g. around southgate) are left out. Primarily intra-neighbourhood trails (e.g. Westminster Woods) are also excluded.
3. No shared routes or shared lanes, as these aren’t infrastructure.
4. Internal University roads excluded, as they aren’t part of the City network.
1) Like @Adamadonaldson says, major gaps in safe/connected infra. in the West-end. East-end too. That’s a problem. Can’t connect to the “network”, or move N-S easily.
2) Connected doesn’t mean safe or useful. Majority of “network” is painted lanes (sadly), and there are still significant gaps to major destinations. Hard to connect east or west outside of downtown. AAA-like infrastructure (trails) doesn’t always connect to destinations. An AAA map, like the excellent one from @LdnOntBikeCafe here (https://londonbicyclecafe.com/map) would not be very inspiring in #Guelph, as we’d be left with trails and some disconnected MUPs. Not nearly as many destinations.
3) Overall, there are more connections than Darren thought there would be. However, he has concerns about the quality of infrastructure that’s there, and where it is located/connects to. Some neighbourhoods are very disconnected.
In an effort to start a discussion, and perhaps crowdsource improvements to the map, he encourages comments. He asks four quick questions for discussion :
- Is this useful?
- What did he miss and why should it be there? (e.g. connected routes)
- What would make this map better? (e.g. different colours, considerations for accessibility, caution signs for dangerous spots)
- Are the “station” names right?
As Darren notes, he has no expectations for this map, but if you have a few minutes or thoughts, feel free to contact him via email@example.com.