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Countywide bicycle route map coming early next year

Although cycling season has shifted into gear, riders will have to wait a while longer to see a comprehensive countywide route map.

The map is being produced by the county and West Sound Cycling Club and is expected to be ready by early 2012.

“We’re creating a map that is of real value to cyclists — where they can see it and go ‘Hey, this road has low traffic volumes, this one has shoulders, this one doesn’t,’” said Bill Zupancic, transportation planner for the county’s Department of Transportation.

Previous maps have indicated nothing more than streets, and the new map will be “a whole quantum leap ahead,” Zupancic said last month.

Rick Feeney with the cycling club said Wednesday that club riders, including himself, plotted the major road routes in the county by indicating shoulder sizes and color coded the different areas last summer and fall. Red indicates 18 inches or less of shoulder, which means the cyclist would have to ride with vehicles. Green indicates a paved shoulder of 4 feet or more, allowing riders to cycle alongside cars. Now, they need to take this information and merge it with the county’s geographic information system’s datasets. The map will be available online and in print editions, Feeney said, adding that it would be beneficial for runners and pedestrians as well.

“As we grow and get more population growth, we have a choice. Do we want to be bicycle friendly or just business and houses?” Feeney said.

Zupancic said that as the department takes on new road projects it stays cognizant of cyclists.

“The mobility of bicyclists and pedestrians is on a lot of people’s minds,” he said. “The momentum has been building for many years.”

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