Safer Cycling: Ride the City maps Atlanta’s best routes

By Julia Turner

A new, free resource for Atlanta cyclists launched this past July. Ride the City – Atlanta, ridethecity.com, generates bike routes based on a starting and ending location from the user.

Ride the City aims to make bicycling in cities safe and easy for everyone. The website was started by Jordan Anderson and Vaidila Kungys while in graduate school at New York University. As avid bikers, Anderson and Kungys noticed the lack of information on bike routes in the city and chose to address the issue. They launched Ride the City – New York in 2008 and have been expanding ever since.

In developing the website, Anderson and Kungys used Open Street Map, a Wikipedia-esque application for maps. It was at an Open Street Map convention two years ago that Anderson and Kungys first decided to start working on Ride the City – Atlanta.

The developers encountered some difficulties with Atlanta’s relatively few, compared with other cities they have worked with, bike friendly streets. “The bike infrastructure data was not good for Atlanta,” says Kungys, “We needed to collaborate.” With the help of the Atlanta Bike Coalition and other Atlanta-area contributors they have been able to significantly improve the data available on bike routes in the city.

The interactive map offers three settings – safe, safer, and direct routes – from which users can choose. The turn-by-turn directions indicate whether the segment of the ride has a bike path, bike lane, or a share the road designation. The map also provides locations of local bike shops and allows users to indicate their destinations as points of interest.

Users have the option to save their routes, share them with friends, or rate them. Ride the City encourages user feedback to keep routes and road information up to date in each city.

Signing up is free and gives you the opportunity to input your base city. In addition to the website, mobile apps for iPhones and Androids are available. Ride the City provides free advertising for bicycling nonprofits, and with their custom directions feature, allows business owners to encourage cycling to their events or stores.