San Francisco resident and cyclist Mat Kladney sees his city differently than other people do. His mental map of the City by the Bay is organized in terms of the routes that are best suited for bicycle travel. When asked for directions from one part of San Francisco to the other by someone driving a car, he would find himself giving them a route that makes sense only to those pedaling themselves on two wheels.
At the same time, he had a desire to teach himself how to use vector graphics (the smooth kind of graphics used in programs like Adobe Illustrator), so he started designing a bike map of San Francisco. He looked at this existing map made by the San Francisco Bike Coalition and started cutting out details.
Kladney’s map is a beautiful bit of cartography that eliminates unnecessary information while arranging the city grid into subway-like routes. Want to get from Lincoln Heights to Nob Hill? No problem — just jump on the Broadway/Folsom brown line.
Kladney hopes that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will adopt his design scheme and start to incorporate it into the agency's bicycle infrastructure.
The world is a better place when more people get around on their bicycles. Cities and towns need to do everything they can to encourage commuters to climb out of their cars and onto bike saddles, and providing good infrastructure and accompanying maps is a huge part of the deal. Kladney’s map is a step in the right direction and should serve as a model for other municipalities hoping to boost the ranks of bicyclists.
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