June 17, 2009 (Seattle, WA) – Cascade Bicycle Club, a leader in creating more livable communities through bicycle education, advocacy, events, commuting and riding programs, announces the launch of its new cycling safety website, Bikewise, created in partnership with sustainability activist and software developer, Phil Mitchell. The website provides a venue for cyclists to track and report crashes, hazards, and thefts in order to maintain and improve cyclists’ safety on the road. Currently, the user-generated content on Bikewise is focused on the greater Puget Sound area, but cyclists around the world can access and update it with their own information.
“We started Bikewise believing that we can improve bicycle safety by collecting good data and facilitating a response to some of the issues that influence the safety of cycling in our communities,” said Tessa Greegor, principal planner for Cascade Bicycle Club. “As an avid cyclist, many times I’ve wished that I had a way to share information about a dangerous intersection or a road hazard with fellow cyclists, and now Bikewise can fill that function in the cycling community.”
“Our goal is for Bikewise to become a valuable resource not only for cyclists all over the world, but for the public agencies that can make the infrastructure safer,” said David Hiller, advocacy director for Cascade Bicycle Club.
Mitchell, founder of the Greater Seattle Climate Dialogues and 2People.org, the first online social network for climate action, and a former software writer for the Harvard University library systems, uses a bicycle as his main form of transportation. Like many cyclists, after crashing his bicycle on a hazard he realized that he had no way to warn other cyclists to be cautious. Cascade Bicycle Club had been contemplating how to develop a forum to address this issue, and Mitchell’s technology skills made him a natural partner in this endeavor.
Bikewise is an interactive website featuring user-generated content related to bicycle crashes, road hazards and bicycle thefts. Registered users are invited to log reports of difficult intersections, road construction, theft, crashes and more, and the exact location of the problem shows up as a pinpoint on a Google-powered map. With a color-coding system (red for crash, yellow for hazard, blue for theft), cyclists can easily access information pertaining to their usual routes. In-depth reports in each category provide background information and “lessons learned” so cyclists can contribute to the dialogue within the international cycling community.
“Bikewise will truly be a success when its data is used by public and private agencies as we collaborate to improve the safety for bicycling through better road design, urban planning and maintenance work,” Hiller said. “Cascade Bicycle Club’s positive working relationship with regional agencies will make it possible to take Bikewise to that level in our area. We hope to help bicycle advocates in other communities be as effective with Bikewise.”
Cyclists are invited to join the Bikewise community and contribute reports to the map, or simply learn from other reports, by visiting www.bikewise.org. For more information about Cascade Bicycle Club and its various education, safety, advocacy and commute programs, please visit www.cascade.org.