All roadways are open for bicycle riders, except for a few restricted roadways like interstate highways, but not all roadways make for safe and comfortable bike riding.
That's why the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council and their counterparts in other upstate New York cites have developed a bicycle suitability map.
Director of SMTC James D'Agostino said, “And the idea is it will help someone figure out the most suitable road to get from point A to point B for your commute to or from work. This way you can choose the roads that are most suitable from a comfort level. The road may be suitable from a legality perspective but not necessarily all that suitable from a comfort level perspective. So you can choose the route that's most comfortable with the least traffic, the widest shoulders and the most bike lanes available so you can have the best ride possible.”
There are two versions of the map, one that shows biking suitability throughout Onondaga County and a smaller, pocket size that also highlights just the streets in the City of Syracuse.
All the major cities in upstate New York, Albany, Rochester, and Buffalo are all doing something similar to this producing bike maps, bike suitability maps to help people get around town on bikes.
The reason is simple, to encourage more people to ride bicycles.
“We have the greatest need for reducing the number of single occupancy vehicles using the roadways and moving people from their cars to their bikes and to the sidewalks and walking both for their physical health as well as the environmental health as well as reducing congestion on the roadways,” said D'Agostino.
We're trying to do various activities to encourage people to share the road more and get a higher number of people out there using their bikes especially on their commute to and from work.
You can visit the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation website at www.smtcmpo.org. The maps are free and available at the SMTC offices, area bike shops and libraries.