There tends to a lot of fear associated with riding a bicycle in the city. Beginner level riders aren’t the only ones to fear the shared roads. Experts will tend to admit riding alongside vehicles can be frightening at certain times. Everyone that has rode a bike before has likely had a close call with a vehicle at some point in their life, may that have been a door opening or a driver not seeing you. You can be the most experienced rider in the world but that does not make you invulnerable to the hustle and bustle of the everyday commuter. Bike lanes can only do so much in providing safety for a rider, it really is only a strip of paint on some roads insuring you have adequate space to ride alongside vehicles. I’m not saying it’s time to pack up the bike and go ride in the country side to be safe I just believe there could be a better way to insure everyone gets from point A to point B safely.
Everyone knows how efficient google maps can be for navigating the roads and also monitoring up-to-date traffic flow. If google is already monitoring the roads and collecting the data on where vehicles travel it would be a perfect interface to piggyback this app idea off of.
The app in mind is one that can detour riders to their destination by routing them away from roads that tend to have the most vehicle traffic. It’s meant to show you the side streets that you never knew were there, or show you routes off the beaten path that will get you to your destination in almost the same time that you could have using the main road. It can act as a guide for when you just wish to go out for an evening ride, or can let you plan your route ahead of time and even navigate you on the go. Vehicles traveling at high speeds can be very intimidating for riders so why not take that variable out of the equation entirely. This app is meant to safely separate those who choose to bike, and those who choose to drive.
In Vancouver we frequently see the issue of people who tend to drive, battle with those who wish to ride. It can be an ugly situation at times and is something that bike lanes have attempted to resolve. However, bike lanes are only a micro solution to a major issue. Bikers must navigate amongst four thousand pound vehicles and it’s easy see why that can intimidate people out of riding to work, or for leisure. Think about how this can benefit tourists as well, they can opt to safely ride a bike to see the city, which will get them out of traffic and afford them greater distance of travel compared to walking. The app may also benefit city districts by offering them an insight into where bikers will travel allowing them to possibly better the signage along those roads as well as building more infrastructure to ensure rider safety.