Following in the tracks of tools that allow cyclists to map their route according to air quality and stress, a new app promises to help cyclists find the safest ways to get around, and it’s being tested in eight pilot cities.
The app, LaneSpotter, will be available to cyclists in St. Louis, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Portland.
The app aims to be “like Waze for cycling,” the Riverfront Times reports. Waze is a real-time navigation app that relies on its users to provide it with data. The bike-centered LaneSpotter promises to help users find bike lanes and trails nearby, filter maps based on road preference and use input to create ratings.
“The faster we can collect this [safety] data, the more quickly we can move forward in providing lots of different tools to cyclists, like the ability to easily find a nearby bike shop, report large potholes, get updates on bike lane or trail closures,” founder Lynsie Campbell told the paper. “Our goal is to build an interactive experience that will help cyclists find the safest routes in their city, in real-time.”
Because its data (which sorts rides according to whether they’re rated as “safe” and “easy”) comes from users, LaneSpotter sponsored a contest last week to get more riders involved — and, thus, more comprehensive data.
Rachel Dovey is an award-winning freelance writer and former USC Annenberg fellow living at the northern tip of California’s Bay Area. She writes about infrastructure, water and climate change and has been published by Bust, Wired, Paste, SF Weekly, the East Bay Express and the North Bay Bohemian.