Those who rely on bicycles to get around Palm Beach County just got a helping hand.
The recently released Bike Suitability Map uses red, yellow and green lines to highlight which roads bicyclists should use or avoid. MPO planners and consultants used information on speed limits, average daily traffic, off-street parking and bike lanes to help them determine which streets are safer than others.
“We’re trying to provide as accurate a look as possible at the conditions or the experience that the cyclist should expect when they’re on that roadway,” said Franchesca Taylor, bicycle, pedestrian and transportation demand management coordinator for the Palm Beach MPO.
The map also indicates if there is a designated bike lane, buffered bike lane, non-designated bike lane or shoulder where cyclists plan to travel.
“The thought is that those are shoulders that are existing out there that may be four feet that aren’t designated as a bike lane,” Taylor said. “So there’s room for opportunity for those right-of-way owners to make that part of the connected network.”
The map also includes bicycle safety information, with tips about laws, helmet use and hand signals to indicate turns.
Taylor said 15,000 Bike Suitability Maps were printed, and the MPO is calling bicycle shops, hotels and other points of interest to get them placed around the county. But they’re also available to hand out to community groups or businesses. For more information, contact Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MPO also has a map showing greenway trails throughout the county. It includes a key that tells riders if a trail is paved or unpaved, and if it’s existing or proposed.
Cyclists will notice, Taylor said, that the map doesn’t include every small, neighborhood bike path in Palm Beach County — just the major connectors. Like the Bike Suitability Map, the greenway map is designed to “connect major origins and destinations,” she added.
To view both maps, go to www.bikepalmbeach.org.