Mapping Boston’s Bicycle Infrastructure

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 17

I am looking for some help. I want to create a google map of every single piece of bike infrastructure in Boston and the surrounding area. Every bike lane, every bike box, every cycle track, every off road path, the works. I will be including large bike parking facilities like the bike cages at T-stops, but skipping (for now) individual bike racks.

To do this I need all of your help. I have created a map (see below) that ANYONE can add to. Simply click on the link here, or below the map and add away. Try to label your points/lines/shapes with something useful, and also try not to delete anyone’s information.

I figure if we all add our little parts we will have the whole business mapped up in no time. Then we can use this map to show new bikers where all the bike lanes etc are.

The map is getting a lot of attention! Which means it takes a while to load, to speed up the page I have put it below the fold. I noticed that some lanes are on there multiple times, feel free to prune them off if you accidentally double up.

If you want to see the entire map continue reading.

If you want to see the whole map with all the edits on one page click here.

View Bike Infrastructure Map in a larger map

Edit this map You have to edit the map in “paged view” that is not all the edits show up on one page, but you can view the map in full view by following this link.

Please follow the following guide

On-street bike lanes are green lines

Streets with a mix of sharrows and lanes make orange lines

Streets with just sharrows make red lines

Cycle tracks, buffered bike lanes, or off road bike paths are blue lines.

Large bike parking facilities use the little bike icon pin

Add any notes that will be helpful.

The rest is up to you, go nuts!

When its over I will take all the names of people who added info and have a drawing for a prize!

If you are not familiar with how to edit google maps see here.

If you have any questions hit the comments.

Thanks everyone!

submit Mapping Boston’s Bicycle Infrastructure to Add to Reddit.

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Posted in infrastructure | 21 Comments »

21 Responses to “Mapping Boston’s Bicycle Infrastructure”

  1. By matt on Jan 17, 2011 | Reply

    just did my commute (Westwood -> E. Cambridge) along both routes. this is very cool, much more useful IMHO than the typical map

  2. By Ira F. Cummings on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    I think this is a really worthwhile project. I added my 2 cents in, but to be honest, I’m not hardcore enough to ride during the winter and I was going from memory. Is it going to be open for a while (or indefinitely)? Are there any plans for it besides “Hey, this is really useful”?

  3. By Boston Biker on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    Matt: Thansk!

    Ira: I was reading though a bunch of old posts and realized that a lot of them were about new bike lanes, and I realized that I had no map of all of them to show to people for route planning, so yea its because its going to be a useful resource for everyone, but also to help people see that Boston is getting its act together (might help with things like what happened in Charlestown).

    It will be open indefinitely, this post is going to stay sticky for a week, and its going to be on the bike maps page (see link at top)

    also thanks for adding your knowledge 🙂

  4. By lyzard on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    made a short url for it:
    I also overlayed google’s bicycling map

    howto make map short urls

  5. By Geoff on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    I know Google take recommendations for their bike lane infrastructure, so I suggest that somewhere along the timeline of this project, you try and submit the data to them, and they can just add it to the Google bike map overlay, which ends up being more useful in the long run.

    neat idea — i know jpbikes was trying to do this a while back:


  6. By Christian on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    From a data perspective, it would make most sense to contribute information to OpenStreetMap (

    There are basically two ways to do that:
    A) editing the map directly or
    B) reporting bugs ( and let somebody else do the map edit.

    Why OSM?

    *) open data license vs. copyright by Google
    *) distribution of print maps is possible (not allowed with Google)
    *) raw data access – enable “apps” based on your bike data
    *) fix bike data instantly if you spot an error (is usually live within an hour)
    *) there is also a bicycle focused rendering (

    There have been some “mapping parties” in Boston, where we showed people how to use OpenStreetMap. I’m happy to organize another one if you’re interested in the project and would like to help us contributing bike data.

    We at MAPC ( are doing very much the same work, collecting and gathering bike and ped information for the Boston region, and seeking ways to publish and disseminate the information to bike communities, towns, advocates, etc. At least I probably could provide you a KML to overlay on your Google Map. We would love to get feedback on the data!
    Although, there are other solutions I would prefer for your online bike map. Just let me know how I can help…

  7. By John on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    The problem with this is that once you get too many items on a Google map, it won’t show up on a single screen.

  8. By dotriderblog on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    Doesn’t the City of Boston have a map? Why not take their data?

  9. By matt on Jan 18, 2011 | Reply

    JOhn has an important point. how can we “show all”? i thought a bunch of my mappings were deleted.

    and yes, the city has a map but it’s printed and always out of date

    not a bad idea to use openstreetmap. i looked and couldn’t find bike-infrastructure tags, did i miss something?

  10. By Boston Biker on Jan 19, 2011 | Reply

    fixed the problem with it splitting up into pages, should be just fine till we hit over 1000 markers…which I don’t think we will.

    Also i noticed some things are on there more than once, if you added something because you couldn’t see all the markers at once, feel free to remove it 🙂

  11. By Ron Newman on Jan 19, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve routinely printed out Google maps for distribution at Somerville Bicycle Committee bike rides. Nobody from Google has ever objected.

  12. By Ron Newman on Jan 19, 2011 | Reply

    I’m not finding any ‘Edit’ button when I click on the link to your map. How do I get such a button so I can add stuff to the map?

  13. By Boston Biker on Jan 19, 2011 | Reply

    hey ron, check out that last link in the post, it will show you how to edit the maps. once you are signed into your google account there is a little grey button sorta in the middle left of the screen near the top that says edit. you just add lines and whatnot and then click done and it saves.

  14. By Charlie on Jan 19, 2011 | Reply

    The problem of not being able to see all the changes is solved. But now like Ron I no longer have an edit button.

  15. By Boston Biker on Jan 19, 2011 | Reply

    hmm google is bound and determined to make this harder than it has to be…

    Ok this link is for edits

    this link is for seeing the entire map on “one page”

    Should work just fine now.

    Thanks for sticking with this project everyone, in two days I think we have done about 80% of the entire on the ground infrastructure!

  16. By Charlie on Jan 19, 2011 | Reply

    Oh I see what you mean by “pages”. Weird. I wonder if there is a way to turn pages off.

  17. By Charlie on Jan 19, 2011 | Reply

    I give up. This Google map editing is very buggy and problematic. I just deleted a bunch of my duplicates and now they are back again. WTF?!

  18. By Ron on Jan 19, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve added some in there but noticed an incorrectly colored street. Washington Street in Brighton has lanes and sharrows but it’s in green, shouldn’t it be in orange?

  19. By yikesbikes on Jan 19, 2011 | Reply

    This is a great idea. Not sure if its been mentioned but there is a map of most (if not all) bike racks in Boston. Maybe this can be overlaid at some point as well?

  20. By Hank on Jan 20, 2011 | Reply

    Strangely, the editable map doesn’t show everything that’s on the presentable map. I wanted to change the color of the line on Centre St. in Rozzie, because those are lanes on the road, not seperated (as indicated by the blue line). But it doesn’t appear on the editable map. Anybody seeing this type of problem?

  21. By Boston Biker on Jan 20, 2011 | Reply

    google has this strange thing where they will only show so many items on a map you are editing at once, so you have to scroll down to the lower left and go to other pages…annoying but its free so I am not complaining.

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