Saturday, October 6, 2012

VDOT releases updated Bicycling in Virginia map

VDOT recently released an updated version of the state bike map, Bicycling in Virginia. The map shows major bike routes in the state, including United States Bicycle Routes (USBR) 1 & 76, Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway, the Virginia Capital Trail, and a few other major trails. There is a Northern Virginia inset showing details of USBR 1, the Fairfax Co Parkway Trail, the Cross County Trail and others.

Unfortunately there is so little road detail that the map can't be used for navigating any of these routes. The FFX Co Parkway trail is shown incorrectly in a couple of places, including showing that it crosses I-66 parallel to the Parkway. In that section there is an unsigned detour away from the Parkway.

USBR 1 on Bicycling in Virginia map
USBR 1 as shown in the NoVa inset shows the section through Ft Belvoir, that has been closed for many years, as a dashed line. On the VDOT website there is an interactive map of USBR 1 & 76 that shows the route following Route 1 for an extensive stretch, a very dangerous route. Adventure Cycling mostly follows USBR 1 and they have identified an alternative route, that could have been shown on the state map.

This is what USBR 1 looks like on the VDOT website online map. As you can see, there are major differences between the two maps:

USBR 1 on VDOT online map
One day we would like to see a state bike route map that shows the many great routes that exist on Virginia's back roads. BikeVirginia has extensive maps showing good routes throughout the state that could be used.

The map could include some of the major routes in Northern Virginia that are identified on the Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax bike maps.

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