Author Topic: Maps (other than ACA)  (Read 1004 times)

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Offline chrismarsden

Maps (other than ACA)
« on: March 06, 2020, 08:48:24 am »
A couple of years ago doing a trans-am route of Lewis and Clark, Northern Trail and various other bits, I used ACA maps.  However, one of the most useful little maps I found on line for Montana from their DoT was a map that showed traffic density and shoulder width on the state's roads. It was really useful for planning ahead, choosing routes and alternatives (especially when I took a wrong turn and went off in an unexpected direction for half a day).  In conjunction with ACA maps (which don't always tells you much about traffic density and shoulder width), it was very useful.

This late spring I'm planning on the southern tier route (coronavirus permitting !) and following the ACA route.  Anybody know where I could find state maps that show traffic density and shoulder width for each state ?  It's really useful information that, at the very least, forewarns of what you are going to ride in to.  Shoulder width info is particularly good to have.

I guess it would be really useful if ACA were able to provide this, if no on the maps, then perhaps on their website.

Thanks.

Chris

Offline John Nettles

Re: Maps (other than ACA)
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2020, 09:52:07 am »
Hi Chris,

I "think" ACA does provide links in the  Resources section.  Basically, you are looking to contact the state's Bicycle Coordinator to get that state's bike map.  Most are online (or you can order it online) and you do not need to go through the Bike Coordinator.  Not every state has a bike map and some states are excellent while others are sort of a joke. I would encourage you to consider the ACA maps (or the app or buy their data to put into your GPS), so you can find the services. Another alternative is to buy a used set on eBay.  Just be sure to get any addendum ACA was added for that specific map version.

Tailwinds, John

Offline John Nelson

Re: Maps (other than ACA)
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2020, 09:52:15 am »
Most states have such maps, either on paper or online or both. But of course that requires you to do your own homework, which can be quite time-consuming. One of the advantages of the ACA maps is that they have done the homework for you, as long as your criteria are close to the ACA criteria, and where you want to go is where the ACA route goes.

Google is usually very effective in finding state bicycling maps, which usually include shoulder width and AADT information. Just google "Nebraska bicycle map".

You might find this link useful.

https://www.adventurecycling.org/blog/how-to-create-your-own-touring-route/

You might also find this useful from the Federal Highway Administration.

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/state_contacts.cfm

Offline chrismarsden

Re: Maps (other than ACA)
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2020, 11:25:22 am »
Thanks.

I do have the ACA maps, as well as the digital maps, which work well together, so I' ve got lot of route info.  It's just the shoulder width and traffic density data I'd like from some third party maps / agencies.  I'll do some on line investigation for each state I'll pass through.

Alth0ugh, I'm holding back booking flights from the UK where I am at present because of all the uncertainty about Coronavirus !  I want to make sure that the airline I book with won't have gone bust, or that suddenly the Americans close the borders to us ! Uncertain times, but I'll wait out as long as I can, probably as long as end April, and then book my flight out with a couple of days notice, if all is well.  I'm fortunate to be able to be very flexible with my time.  The joys of retirement !

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Maps (other than ACA)
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2020, 12:17:59 am »
On my recent trip through the States I learned that shoulders seem to be the preserve of counties rather than states - often on crossing a county line I'd either gain or lose a shoulder.

I found cycle.travel to be very useful as a planning tool because you can click on any point on your route for a street view.

I found many times that the shoulder disappeared or was reduced to the point of uselessness on many bridges too.

I'd strongly suggest a mirror to help with dealing with traffic.

Be prepared to encounter dogs!

Good luck!

Offline chrismarsden

Re: Maps (other than ACA)
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2020, 03:23:41 am »
Hi HobbesonTour:  Thanks. 

Shoulder: I will have a look at cycle.travel and see if I can get some idea of shoulder widths.  Yes, I kind of knew that shoulder width varies with county lines.  The Montana DoT map I referred to earlier seems to have brought that information together in one very useful map.

Mirror:  I have a great helmet mirror that I got from ACA a few years ago, an  EVT Safe Zone Helmet Mirror.  Best mirror I've ever used.  Looks a bit odd, but what the heck !

Dogs: Yep, always aware.

Chris

Offline jamawani

Re: Maps (other than ACA)
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2020, 10:03:51 am »
Shoulders - If the highway is a state highway, then the shoulder is a state responsibility.
If the highway is a county highway, then it is a county responsibility.
All states have shoulder design requirements - usually online files - as part of their DOTs.

Shoulders are expensive and are only addded gradually - unless the highway is of newer vintage.
Many times, paving/construction contracts are done by county - thus, the change at the county lines.
Few counties have the resources for shoulders, nor does the traffic volume justify the cost.
Choosing back roads means you have to use caution that a county road does not have high traffic.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Maps (other than ACA)
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2020, 10:03:57 am »
Mirror:  I have a great helmet mirror that I got from ACA a few years ago, an  EVT Safe Zone Helmet Mirror.  Best mirror I've ever used.  Looks a bit odd, but what the heck !
Chris
I have had one for about 4 years.  Totally agree that is by far the best mirror I have had in 40 years.  Plus their customer service is great as I got a scratch on mine and the replaced the mirror for free.

I wish helmet manufacturers would build a universal socket into the helmets so bike mirror companies could have a universal joint so all mirrors fit the same way.

Tailwinds, John

Offline canalligators

Re: Maps (other than ACA)
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2020, 10:26:17 pm »
I think that most of that information is available in the states' GIS data, which is probably available.  (I know NY will provide it if you have a legit use.)  One could build an online interactive map with shoulder, traffic volume and rumble strip data on the routes.  I once pitched the idea to AC, but they declined, as their resources were dedicated to the USBRS and creating routes.  That's an organizational decision which I respect, but the idea has merit and might be a business opportunity for someone.