NOLA Cycle Project
October 29, 2009 1:10 PM   Subscribe

One effect of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans was to render existing bike maps of the city obsolete and incomplete. The NOLA Cycle Bike Map Project is a grassroots effort to create a comprehensive, freely-available bicycle map for New Orleans (like those that already exist for Chicago, Portland, and other cities). Because the project is driven by DIY maps produced by individuals and by volunteer social events organized around mapping different locations that can then be added to the project's database, it's been described as "Wiki-style involvement in the real world." (Here's some video of the project.)

The project began as an undergraduate capstone project for planning student Lauren Sullivan at the University of Cincinnati. Sullivan moved to New Orleans as part of Cincinnati's innovative co-op education program, and, once there, found the city difficult to bike in without a good map--"We do have a lot of fast roads, a lot of dangerous roads and roads with a lot of potholes," she told the Times-Picayune when the project began in 2008. "But then we also have a lot of good hidden neighborhood roads."

She modeled the project on Youthline America's Mapping America project, in which high school students are sent out to map their neighborhood resources. By June of this year, most of Orleans Parish, including the 9th Ward, was mapped; data is now being entered into ArcGIS while Sullivan and volunteers design and release prototypes. A mini-grant from the Crescent City Farmers' Market's Crescent Fund has defrayed some costs.

This initiative, along with the 2009 Louisiana DOTD Statewide Pedestrian and Cyclist Master Plan and the efforts of homegrown bike co-ops and advocacy organizations, are all gradually making New Orleans a friendlier place to bike.
posted by liketitanic (4 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Seems like they should collaborate with these guys.
posted by battlebison at 1:35 PM on October 29, 2009

Great links. Since they are essentially starting over, hopefully they can make use of these new technologies and become a model for other cities!
posted by sararah at 3:06 PM on October 29, 2009

There's also Open Cycle Map, for anyone who wants to contribute in their own city.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:52 PM on October 29, 2009

Fantastic post!
posted by iamkimiam at 8:22 PM on October 29, 2009

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