Foot-Powered Transport in Bike-Friendly Cities

The majority of the Harvest officemates are bike commuters and there is lots of talk of pedal-powered geekiness. Fenders, shoe covers and—for at least one of us—what to do with morning helmet-hair. All of us that ride in do so for our own reasons, but all of us can agree that it makes for a much more intimate relationship with the city we call home.

Recently John Nelson, a cyclist and designer, took this nebulous “feeling” and made it a lot more...colorful. Using commuting data from the US Census and applying it to Bicycling’s Magazine’s Top 10 Bike Friendly Cities he developed a set of maps that plots out different foot-powered means of commuting vs. thier powered counterparts.

While the results are mostly unsurprising—walkers and bikers are clustered around the urban core—there are a few unexpecteds. The nearly complete lack of non-human powered transport in Eugene, OR or the cycle-specific blocks in Chicago as two examples.

It begs to be said, John is no stranger to this. He’s previously created another set of maps focused on Seattle commuters, their methods and commute times.

Not just pretty pieces of art, these maps—and others like it—can hopefully be used by city planners to influence the shapes of our cities as well more useful and effective methods of mass transit and other pro-community programs such as bike shares.

Commuter Traffic