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New Web App Helps D.C. Residents Find Bike Path Of Least Resistance

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Bikeplanner.org could make adding a bicycle to your commute less of a hassle.
Becky Lettenberger/NPR
Bikeplanner.org could make adding a bicycle to your commute less of a hassle.

It just got a whole lot easier for cyclists in the area to plan their bike routes. A new trip planning website is the first in the nation to use bike sharing technology to help riders plan their routes. It's called bikeplanner.org; think of it as a Google Maps for cyclists.

"It's a website that helps people plan bike journeys and bike share journeys in the D.C. Metro area," says Kevin Webb. He works at Open Plans, the non-profit that developed the free web app that shows riders the fastest, flattest and safest routes — based on the terrain — for getting from point A to point B.

For frequent users of Capital Bikeshare, it'll even tell you how many bicycles are available or if a vending location is full.

"It takes data from the Capital BikeShare system on an ongoing basis — real time information  about the availability of bikes and dock locations around the city and it helps you plan journeys," says Webb.

At City Bikes in Adam's Morgan, Community Outreach Coordinator Saul Leiken says it's a much needed technology for D.C.'s bike riders.

"I think the city has been doing a lot to put out safe bike lanes, but it's kind of hard to figure out that information — where they are and how to use all of them together — so this app makes it very easy for them to do that," says Leiken.

The app also uses crowd sourcing technology to adjust routes based on user feedback.

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