[Talk-us] US Bicycle Routes in KY, TN, AL, MS, and GA

KerryIrons irons54vortex at sbcglobal.net
Sun Mar 10 23:04:26 UTC 2013


The "extremely vague PDF" is a corridor plan, not a route network.  The plan
was designed specifically to show where routes should be developed, leaving
the details at the state level and to be defined later.  There is no way a
national effort could have been done by trying to choose the specific
streets, roads, and trails to be used.

It's fine to tag a route as "proposed" but proposed by who?  If a bike
advocate or local government official finds the OSM/OCM routes they will not
intuitively grasp what is going on.   What is likely to happen is just what
triggered my inquiry here: a bike advocate saw this and asked "What is going
on?"  They had no sense where these proposed routes came from or who
developed them.  Most people are not going to become OSM members in order to
figure this sort of thing out.  And therein lies the source of confusion.
For a non-member viewer of these maps there is no information about the
source of the map or how to contact the mapper to discuss the map.  Then you
get into the "Which map are we working from?" problem.

I keep coming back to the need for communication and coordination.

Kerry Irons
Adventure Cycling Association

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Johnson [mailto:baloo at ursamundi.org] 
Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2013 2:16 PM
To: OpenStreetMap talk-us list
Subject: Re: [Talk-us] US Bicycle Routes in KY, TN, AL, MS, and GA

Well, this begs the question a bit...what's the difference between chasing
down an estimated proposal and tagging it as such, and the extremely vague
PDF that's out there?  I'm thinking the tagging makes for a clearer
understanding on where the route might go, and I believe adding the
appropriate disclaimer to the proposed route would be a mitigating factor on
the "end run" concern.  I believe Richard at Sustrans is ultimately driving
the same point.

On Sun, Mar 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM, KerryIrons <irons54vortex at sbcglobal.net>

The challenge is between wanting to move the USBR process forward with a
push from having a proposed route "out there" and the risk of push back when
some official basically says "What the heck is this?"  We have had this
exact experience in Michigan during the development (now official) of USBR
35 so it is not just a theoretical possibility.  The fine points of
"proposed" are easily lost if someone suspects they are being left out of
the loop or experiencing an end run.

The way the process works is to develop a proposed route and then take it to
the involved communities, counties, trail owners, and DOTs involved.  As we
gain their concurrence those pieces of the route become firm and can be
publicized to good purpose - this can push adjacent jurisdictions to get on
board.  We finally got one road commission to agree to the route when one of
their members said "Everyone else has approved.  What's our excuse?"  Much
as we would like it otherwise, local politics are very much part of getting
a USBR designated.

We would like to harness the enthusiasm shown in putting these routes on OSM
to directly help with the designation process.  I became aware of these
routes being on OSM when one of the advocates working within a state
contacted ACA and said "What's going on here?"  We don't need that kind of
confusion.  We have talked about the need for a user-friendly mapping
technology through which we can easily develop and share proposed USBRs and
have been using Google Maps for that.  Perhaps OSM is a better tool and that
is why we would like to work with the OSM mapper community to sort that out.

My outreach is not an attempt to be adversarial but rather to channel our
efforts.  We are always short on resources and we don't want to see
duplication of effort or confusion result from independent projects that are
not in communication.


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Johnson [mailto:baloo at ursamundi.org]
Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2013 12:35 AM
To: OpenStreetMap talk-us list
Subject: Re: [Talk-us] US Bicycle Routes in KY, TN, AL, MS, and GA

What I mean to say is these were likely mapped with the understanding that
these routes are subject to change before they're official and on the
ground.  The ones I've come across have been tagged as such.  While I
understand your concern, I believe you may be putting too much weight into
the significance.  I encourage ACA to work with OSM to get such routes
mapped on the preferred corridor with a note that these routes can and
likely will move up to 50 miles either way in their final form.  Doing so
can be useful for providing visualization and mustering support for such
routes on a much more concise and clear scale than previously available.  It
may be unwise to take quite such an adversarial approach for an effort that
appears to have complementary goals.

On Sat, Mar 9, 2013 at 5:30 PM, KerryIrons <irons54vortex at sbcglobal.net>

The process for proposing a US Bicycle Route is well defined.  It does not
consist of people simply putting a route on a public map system like
OpenStreetMaps/OpenCycleMaps.  There are local road agency approvals
required and there is a risk of significant backlash when these agencies
perceive that routes are being proposed without their involvement.  The
routes as they appear on OpenStreetMaps/OpenCycleMaps are not approximate
but rather are on specific state and local roads.

I have been contacted by the person who put these routes into OpenSteetMaps
and will sort things out with him.


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Johnson [mailto:baloo at ursamundi.org]
Sent: Saturday, March 09, 2013 3:19 PM
Cc: OpenStreetMap talk-us list
Subject: Re: [Talk-us] US Bicycle Routes in KY, TN, AL, MS, and GA

If it's showing up with an "under construction" or "proposed" status, it's
subject to change and there for approximate visualization in those cases.
 If you'd like to propose a better way to handle that situation, I'm sure
the folks involved would love to hear it!

On Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 2:48 PM, KerryIrons <irons54vortex at sbcglobal.net>

I am heavily involved in the development of US Bicycle Routes (see
www.adventurecycling.org/usbrs) and it has come to my attention that
OpenStreetMap/OpenCycleMap have proposed maps for US Bicycle Routes 21, 25,
80, and 84 in KY, TN, AL, MS, and GA.  The routes are shown as dashed lines
but with the USBR numbers on them.  At the same time USBR 76 is shown as
proposed but in fact it has officially been designated in KY.

As of now there are only proposed corridors for these routes (50 mile wide
areas where a route could be developed) and so showing specific proposed
routes is beyond the current status of any of these USBRs.  It could be
argued that USBR 25 will likely follow the Adventure Cycling Underground
Railroad route but none of the states involved have applied for designation
of these routes with AASHTO, the official body in charge of the USBR system.

I would like to get in contact with the mapper(s) who put these routes into
OpenStreetMap/OpenCycleMap and clarify this.   We are always looking for
enthusiastic folks who want to work on the USBR system but in this case
putting detailed routes on maps is a source of confusion.

Please contact me at your convenience if you have been involved in putting
these routes into OpenStreetMap/OpenCycleMap.

Kerry Irons
Adventure Cycling Association
kirons at adventurecycling.org

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