These Bike Path Maps Are Designed to Look Like Subway Routes

Subway maps, with their linear, colorful routes, are perhaps the easiest maps to read at a glance—and exactly what you need when your train is already pulling into the station. What if bike maps could be just as easy to decode? Michael Graham, a cartographer featured on CityLab, has reimagined the bike path networks of four different cities in the U.S. and the UK to be more like subway or bus maps.

His spider bike maps (named for the simplified maps used for subway service and some bus routes) turn urban bike infrastructure into easy-to-read lines. Trails are color-coded, and the geographical twists and turns of the real bike lanes are flattened into linear routes that intersect at 45° or 90° angles, just as on most subway maps.

Washington, D.C.

San Francisco

Denver

Having a lot of bike lanes is good for safety, but it's also difficult to illustrate on a map. Graham’s maps are easy to read because they don’t hit you with too much information. Unfortunately, that also means they only show major cycle arteries, sacrificing smaller streets with bike lanes for greater readability. But as long as you’re only looking for general directions, they’re a great way to figure out how to bike across a city.

[h/t CityLab]

All images courtesy Michael Graham // Spider Bike Maps

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George Barratt-Jones, Vimeo
This Crafty Bicycle Can Knit a Scarf in 5 Minutes
George Barratt-Jones, Vimeo
George Barratt-Jones, Vimeo

Knitting can be a time-consuming, meticulous task, but it doesn’t need to be. At least not if you’re George Barratt-Jones. As The Morning News spotted, the Dutch designer recently created a human-powered automated knitting machine that can make a scarf while you wait for your train to arrive.

The Cyclo-Knitter is essentially a bicycle-powered loom. As you pedal a stationary bike, the spinning front wheel powers a knitting machine placed on top of a wooden tower. The freshly knitted fabric descends from the top of the tower as the machine works, lowering your brand-new scarf.

Cyclo Knitter by George Barratt-Jones from George Barratt-Jones on Vimeo.

“Imagine it’s the midst of winter,” Barratt-Jones, who founded an online skill-sharing platform called Kraftz, writes of the product on Imgur. “You are cold and bored waiting for your train at the station. This pedal powered machine gets you warm by moving, you are making something while you wait, and in the end, you are left with a free scarf!”

Seems like a pretty good use of your commute down-time, right?

If you're a fan of more traditional knitting methods, check out these knitting projects that can put your needles to work, no bicycle required.

[h/t The Morning News]

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iStock
Netherlands Officials Want to Pay Residents to Bike to Work
iStock
iStock

Thinking about relocating to the Netherlands? You might also want to bring a bike. Government officials are looking to compensate residents for helping solve their traffic congestion problem and they want businesses to pay residents to bike to work, as The Independent reports.

Owing to automobile logjams on roadways that keep drivers stuck in their cars and cost the economy billions of euros annually, Dutch deputy infrastructure minister Stientje van Veldhoven recently told media that she's endorsing a program that would pay employees 19 cents for every kilometer (0.6 miles) they bike to work.

That doesn't sound like very much, but perhaps citizens who need to trek several miles each way would appreciate the cumulative boost in their weekly paychecks. For employers, the benefit would be a healthier workforce that might take fewer sick days and reduce parking needs.

Veldhoven says she also plans on designing a program that would assist employers in supplying workers with bicycles. The goal is to have 200,000 people opting for manual transportation over cars. If the program proceeds, it might find a receptive population. The Netherlands is already home to 22.5 million bikes, more than the 17.1 million people living there. In Amsterdam, a quarter of residents bike to work.

There's no timeline for implementing the pay-to-bike plan, but early trial studies indicate that the expense might not have to be a long-term prospect. Study subjects continued to bike to work even after the financial rewards stopped.

[h/t The Independent]

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