● Bicycle Stress Map to help plan stress-free cycling routes.

Here’s an interesting idea for people who would like to plan stress-free cycling routes in a city. It’s a “Bicycle Stress Map” which colour codes every street and bicycle path in terms of stress levels likely to be encountered by a cyclist.

Montgomery County in Maryland (a suburb just north of Washington DC) has recently developed such a map. Quiet residential streets are rated low-stress and are colour coded blue, while major roads with lots of traffic are rated high-stress and colour coded red. Streets with intermediate stress levels are colour coded green, yellow, or orange. There’s also a similar map for San Jose, California.

In addition to helping people find stress-free routes, such a map would be a very useful tool for planning bicycle infrastructure projects.

In the meantime, here in Ottawa, Carling Avenue was once again voted the worst street in the city. This is for general use, and not just for cycling. However, if motorists find that a street is bad, it’s almost guaranteed to be worst for cyclists.

I agree that most of Carling Avenue is pretty bad for cycling, but I find that Robertson Road between Baseline and Moodie rates even lower.

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