Overall, this map was made with three major interconnected goals in mind:
1. Provide a simplified complement to the current bicycle map.
2. Call the SFMTA to consider cycling as a part of its transit system, not an adjunct.
3. Use familiar schema to attract new cyclists to the road.
The current San Francisco Bicycle Map is difficult to approach, especially when answering the simple question, “how to I get from here to there?” This map has everything you might possibly want in a bicycle map in a hilly city: the grade and name of every San Francisco street, four different types of bike lane, even contour lines for every hill from Twin Peaks to the slight elevation changes found in the Mission. Unfortunately by trying to be everything, it loses much of its usability. Tracking the best way to get across the city becomes more difficult when confronted with so much data. The new simplified map helps cyclists to quickly and easily find the shortest route through town.
Although the SFMTA has made huge strides in recent years to improve the San Francisco cycling world, there is plenty to go. I imagine foot wide painted lines running the length of each route matching the color of each route guiding cyclists on their way. Each route dotted with color coded (and coated) bike racks taking up a parking spot at each station on this map. Next to each bike rack could exist a 'station' similar to a bus stop with system maps, local maps and other relevant information.
With the incorporation of these on-street changes and by mirroring the design features of subway systems throughout the world, the available cycling infrastructure will appear more approachable to the uninitiated. Given the training required of their black cab drivers, the difficulty of driving through central London is legendary, yet the Tube is used by legions of tourists everyday. Need to get from Downtown to Bernal Heights? Just follow the Blue Line. This simplicity will reframe the existing San Francisco bicycle lanes as the San Francisco Bicycle System and will help convince more people to saddle up and take to the streets.
If reached, everyone can benefit from the following goals:
$2000 - Postcard Printing
Backers will be rewarded with a set of 5 postcards outlining close up views of the map and overdoor subway maps.
$7500 - Mural Painting
If reached, a mural outlining a portion of the bicycle system on a city wall will be funded for painting along one of the bicycle routes featured on the San Francisco Bicycle System.
Risks and challenges
If we reach our funding goals, the posters will be printed locally here in San Francisco and shipped securely in mailing tubes via the USPS. Thus far only a single sample print has been made and as such the biggest risk is the switch to bulk printing. As we will be working with a local print shop, any major problems are expected to be minimal and easily solved in person.
I will be placing the posters in tubes individually by hand after printing. This should be a straightforward process, however if more prints are ordered than expected there may be a delay in shipping. I have budgeted time outside of my work and school schedule in December and January to ensure swift and easy shipping.
Of note, since initial publication (for the UC Berkeley Global Urban Humanities Mapping and its Discontents Symposium) the following major changes have been made:
- Enlarged font size
- Inclusion of route terminal markers
- Creation of neighborhood route lists
- Finalization of color scheme
- Addition of express route markers and grade >5% markers
- (30 days)