While interning for City of Rochester Department of Architectural Services, I was approached by Reconnect Rochester to develop a generalized map of the dedicated bicycle boulevards and other safe cycling routes styled after metropolitan subway spider maps. At the time, there were five or more existing maps of bicycle routes, but the size of the city made each difficult to use for navigation on the street, especially for new cyclists. Further, most maps identified street segments not present on the other maps, making an incomplete picture of the available infrastructure.
The Bicycle Connections map I created takes a different approach to navigation that is more accessible to new cyclists. The guiding principle of the design is that a cyclist should only need a brief glance at it and a general sense of their location in order to navigate along safe pathways. To do this, the map presents general points, directions, and path shapes over individually labeled streets, thereby reducing the amount of information it needs to show in order to be useful. Designated streets are condensed into city-length corridors to simplify way finding directions. Major landmarks and intersections are laid out along each route so that the most intuitive path between them takes a rider along the safest streets in the area.
Many thanks to Assistant City Engineer Kamal Crues, Special Project Manager Erik Frisch, Assistant Transportation Specialist Darin Ramsey at City of Rochester and Cycling Manager Jesse Peers at Reconnect Rochester.