A cyclist friend who works at MapQuest forwarded this news to me.
The Daily Camera
Bike routes in Boulder go digital
Boulder BikeQuest will provide customized maps
By Kim Castleberry, Camera Staff Writer
August 8, 2005
For people who have found themselves late for an appointment, unsure of
where they're going and caught without a map, the answer is: MapQuest.
But in Boulder, where bicyclists flourish in bike lanes and paths galore,
there's no Web site telling them how best to get from point A to B on two
wheels until now.
Plans are under way for Boulder BikeQuest, an interactive Web page that
will provide customized bike route information like MapQuest does for
cars. In addition to providing the miles and travel time, the service may
also include some extras such as calories burned, difficulty of the route
and topography. And it will ask bikers whether they prefer to stay on the
street or use bike paths.
"It'll be similar to MapQuest in the way that it looks and functions,"
said Larry Ferguson, a specialist in geographic-information systems who
works for the city of Boulder. "You put in the origin and destination and
out comes a route with distance and directions."
The program will cost $140,000. Seventy percent of that will be paid for
by a federal grant awarded to programs that mitigate air congestion. The
money is administered through the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The funding will become available in October, and the program is expected
to be online by next summer.
To get the grant, GO Boulder, a city transportation agency that focuses on
alternative modes, had to show how many vehicle miles of motor-vehicle
travel would be saved because of the program. Marni Ratzel, GO Boulder's
bicycle and pedestrian planner, said the city would save 4.4 million
vehicle miles over a five-year span.
Ratzel said that with the new program, there's potential to get people who
own bikes and ride them recreationally to start using them as a mode of
"For us, it's the logical next step," she said. "We already have an
extensive bike network in place, and now we're trying to encourage
motorists to really start increasing their transportation options."
The map technology is being used in Orange County, Calif.
Ratzel said that because Boulder has such an Internet-savvy community, she
expects BikeQuest to be successful.
"Nobody gives directions anymore. They give their address and say,
'MapQuest it,'" she said. "So we want to make that available for bikes as
Contact Camera Staff Writer Kim Castleberry at (303) 473-1360 or