With the new Bike Pittsburgh
map, sharing the road just a got a lot easier. In case you’ve lost track, Pittsburgh’s last bicycle map was published 15 years ago during the city’s “Sophie” era.
Featuring cartography created by East Liberty-based tech company DeepLocal
, the map is designed for commuters and urban explorers alike. What makes the map stand out are its visually compelling Chris Ware-like illustrations designed by Glen Johnson. Collaboration was nothing new to the team, as Johnston attended CMU
with Bike Pittsburgh’s executive director Scott Bricker and DeepLocal founder Nathan Martin.
“You’re not going to find a map like this anywhere in the country. It’s a snapshot in time. We gathered bike maps from all over the country and dissected each one. Most communicated through icons and diagrammatic representations,” says Johnson, 30. “Chicago’s map was the best example. We took what they did and dealt with it more creatively—put in more useful, readable information without overcrowding things.” The result features a comic book-like layout, aerial and close-ups views, a consistent color scheme, and narrative elements that teach bike safety tips.
"We wanted to make the educational parts fun, that’s why we took the graphic novel approach, which is unique," says Bricker. Responding to Pittsburgh’s anti-grid topography, the maps identifies major hills, landmarks and trails, as well as hazardous roads. With an advocacy bent, the map provides information on how to lobby for safer streets. This winter, Bike Pittsburgh will launch an interactive online version.
The project was supported by a $49,200 grant from The Heinz Endowments
. To download the map, go here,
or pick one up at local bike and coffee shops. Be sure to grab two—one to use and one to frame.
Writer: Jennifer Baron
Source: Glen Johnson; Scott Bricker, Bike PittsburghImage courtesy of Bike Pittsburgh and Glen Johnson