I found out last week that the City of Evanston had made excellent progress on building its first buffered and protected bike lane, from the high school to downtown on Church Street (just one-way, though).
I’ve now added Evanston bike lanes to the Chicago Bike Map app base map and it will be included in the next issue, v0.5.
I had to digitize the bike lane data myself. I downloaded a PDF map from the City’s website and manually plotted them in QGIS using a TIGER road map as the base (you select features from the TIGER road map layer and copy them into your bike lane layer and replace the road attributes with the bike lane attributes). It’s not difficult, but it takes a long time. I also had to add the lakefront multi-use trail in Evanston. I started with a base from OpenStreetMap and extensively modified that, extended it, and added where that multi-use trail connects to the street network (“access paths”).
Evanston’s Lake Shore Path came from an OpenStreetMap extract, for which I needed BBBike’s Planet.osm extract service.
Unfortunately I didn’t take this as an opportunity to learn how to add and modify bikeways in OpenStreetMap so others could benefit. I will publish a shapefile and KML file of the Evanston bike lanes in the near future.
Other features I’m working on:
- Load CTA and Metra independently; this will speed map panning on older devices
- Trailheads will be a new Points of Interest category
- CTA Train Tracker via SMS (the app composes a message and all you have to do is hit send; for iPhone users only)