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Have you wanted to bike to work, the grocery store or your favorite restaurant, but can’t figure out a route that doesn’t result in semi trucks whizzing past you at high speed? Well fear not, hypothetical cyclist – help is on the way. The League of Illinois Bicyclists will soon be releasing a map which rates the bikeability of local roads by comfort level.

Sue Jones of the Prairie Cycle Club says, “We’ve been out riding the roads, seeing where the shopping places are and where the hairy intersections are, and think we have a pretty good map to help people get from one place to another.”

The map will be modeled on LIB’s other city layouts, such as this one for Aurora. The green lines are the most comfortable, and it ranges through yellow to red as stuff gets worse. Jones said they will use the same philosophy on the Champaign map. “A side effect of the map is that it shows the areas where cyclists are most poorly served — including places where many residents use bicycles as their transportation. It takes a bit of nerve to go to the shops north of I-74, though there are ways to get there.”

There are good existing bicycling maps for both Champaign County and C-U available on the web, but this map should be an improvement on both of them. Keep on the lookout for the new map in the next month or so, and I’ll be sure to pass along any more information about it.

Other bike items of interest this week:

The Bike Project will be making a run to the Champaign Public Works lot tomorrow (Friday, May 30) to pick up impounded bikes to repair for sale. If you don’t have a nine-to-fiver and would like to help, stop by the lot (702 Edgebrook Drive, C., just north of Bloomington & Hagen, or just east of Home Depot) at 10 a.m. tomorrow. If you can lend a truck to help haul bikes, all the better. Email Fred Davidson (fgd@uiuc.edu) for more info.

Car-free Times just published their 50th issue, and it’s a good read on car-less transportation worldwide.

The Chicago Tribune had an entire section devoted to cycling in their Sunday edition, and some of the articles are posted online.