OpenStreetMap

Ensuring proper bike routing in the Chicago Bike Guide

Posted by Steven Vance on 27 December 2013 in English (English)

It will be a couple days before the OpenCycleMap tiles are updated to reflect the new information. Campbell had previously been tagged but I tagged Clybourn (the diagonal street) yesterday.

The Chicago Bike Guide depends on directions from MapQuest Open Directions, a free service MapQuest offers that uses the OpenStreetMap database of streets. The service looks at how the streets are "tagged" to determine the relative bike-ability of a route between your current location and your inputted destination.

MapQuest Open Directions looks for the "cycleway" tag to see if the street has a bike lane that would increase a route's bike-ability. If that tag doesn't exist then it looks for the "bicycle" tag which has a value of "yes" (bicycles are allowed), "no" (bicycles are not allowed), or "designated" (bicycles are allowed and encouraged here).

The City of Chicago has added a lot of new bike lanes since May 2011, at a faster rate than the previous years. Yesterday I verified that all of the new buffered and protected bike lanes (called "cycle tracks" in OpenStreetMap parlance) were noted in OpenStreetMap's database to ensure that MapQuest Open Directions had the correct information to route Chicago Bike Guide users.

I used Active Transportation Alliance's bikeways tracker to know which streets to look at. I used my personal knowledge of that bike lane installation to note specifically in OpenStreetMap when it changed types – for example, when a protected bike lane has a buffered bike lane for a block.

Adding the Berteau Avenue neighborhood greenway was a little tricky. "Neighborhood greenway" isn't a type of infrastructure, but a concept involving a variety of infrastructure modifications. I tagged some parts as having a shared lane on one side of the street (sharrow) and a bike lane in the opposite direction of the main travel flow (a so-called contraflow bike lane). I also added a tag to denote the new speed limit of 20 MPH.

Cross-posted to my blog.

Here's the list of bike lane additions I made to OpenStreetMap (see changesets one, two, three):

  • Vincennes, 84th to 103rd, track
  • South Chicago, Baltimore to 79th, buffered
  • South Shore Drive, 71st to 79th, buffered
  • Halsted, 69th to 75th, buffered
  • Halsted, Pershing to Garfield, buffered
  • King, 51st to 26th, buffered
  • Ellsworth, Garfield to 51st, buffered
  • Halsted, 26th to Lumber, buffered
  • Archer, State to Cermak, buffered
  • State, 18th St. to 26th St., buffered
  • Wabash, Roosevelt to 18th, buffered
  • Wabash, 18th to Cermak, buffered
  • Wabash, Harrison to Roosevelt, buffered
  • Desplaines, Harrison to Roosevelt, buffered
  • Desplaines, Randolph to Harrison, track
  • Halsted, Roosevelt to Van Buren, buffered
  • Jackson, Oakley to Ogden, track
  • Lake, Central Park to Damen, track
  • Jackson, Hamlin to Central Park, track
  • Hamlin/Independence, Douglas to Madison, buffered
  • Douglas, Independence to Sacramento, buffered
  • Sacramento, 19th to Douglas, track
  • Marshall, 24th to 19th, track
  • Madison, Central to Pulaski, buffered
  • Franklink, Central Park to Sacramento, buffered
  • Kedzie, North to Palmer, buffered
  • Division, Western to California, buffered
  • Milwaukee, Elston to Kinzie, lane, buffered, track
  • Elston, Milwaukee to LeMoyne, buffered, track
  • Halsted, Division to North, buffered
  • Halsted, Fullerton to Wellington, buffered (except for next to Home Depot)
  • Clark, Diversey to Addison, buffered
  • Clybourn, North to Belmont, shared and buffered
  • Berteau, Lincoln to Clark, greenway, 20 mph
  • Roscoe/Campbell, Damen to Western to Belmont, lane, buffered
  • Franklin, Harrison to Wacker, buffered
  • Wells, Chicago to Wacker, buffered
  • Clark, Walton to North, buffered and shared lane
Location: Bricktown, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 60618, United States of America

Comment from skorasaurus on 27 December 2013 at 22:59

Awesome work both with the mapping and with the bicycle advocacy work being done in CHI.

Unfortunately, all of the bicycle lanes without barriers in Cleveland are not buffered and are simply like the one in this picture

I was wondering what does track signify in your use? After reading about the neighborhood greenways on the activetrans site, I would interpret that they could be tagged highway=living_street.

Hide this comment

Leave a comment

Parsed with Markdown

  • Headings

    # Heading
    ## Subheading

  • Unordered list

    * First item
    * Second item

  • Ordered list

    1. First item
    2. Second item

  • Link

    [Text](URL)
  • Image

    ![Alt text](URL)

Login to leave a comment