I designed Arlington County’s initial July 2015 Bike Comfort Level Map, a revolutionary method of rating streets based on comfort level to welcome all kinds of riders. This was a project with Bike Arlington, a part of Arlington County Commuter Services, an update has been made to the map for 2017.
The map was geared towards the 60% of interested but concerned riders, showing how simple it is to get around the county by highlighting both comfort level and infrastructure. Data was collected by the BikeArlington group with a local's understanding and perspective. Categories were created based on traffic volume, speed, and road width.
This map aims to highlight the most stress-free routes to get around Arlington. Frequently on Arlington’s roads, bike lanes are accompanied by fast moving traffic and parked cars that pose hazards to people on bikes. There are often times low-volume ,low-speed neighborhood streets that many motor vehicle users may not be aware of, but that will still take people where they need to go.
This map uses a rating system of “perception of comfort” to designate which roads are the most comfortable for new riders. Existing bicycle facilities, motor traffic volume, motor traffic speed, shoulder width, and topography are all taken into account in establishing degree of difficulty.
By providing public forum, we allow for users to engage with the map and give their feedback. We assess all comments and suggestions before developing a style for the map's update.