Have you ever set off for your destination only to find your way blocked by construction? And though there were signs indicating which way cars should detour, there wass no such signage for bicyclists (or maybe even for pedestrians)? I’ve wound up getting double detoured before, and if I’d only known in advance that the way would be blocked, there were fairly easy alternatives that I could have taken from the get go.
The City does post a list of road closures and construction zones on their website. There’s the Street Maintenance Schedule (which covers basic street repair, like repaving). There’s FCTrip, which lists other types of projects, like utility work, that might block a street. There’s even an #fctrip hashtag on Twitter that the City uses to post updates, such as when street plows are out on a snowy day. But none of these options include bike trail information. For that you have to go to the Trail System Status page. And, to the best of my knowledge, there’s no place you can go to see all of this information at one time.
So if you’re planning a route that’s going to include both streets and trails, you pretty much need to check in to four different resources in order to know if your way is going to be clear. I think most of us would rather just head out and take our chances. But one local resident would like to develop a means of crowdsourcing closure data, snow clearing data, and so on all in one place.
Larey Kerling has set up a Twitter resharing-bot that watches for any tweet that includes @RideFC. As the description on the account explains:
RideFC is bike riders helping bike riders. Got a Fort Collins bike rider alert? Include @RideFC in your tweet and it will be retweeted to all @RideFC followers.
So if you see that a previously closed bike trail has been opened, include @RideFC when you tweet about it. Want to warn other riders about a construction project that doesn’t allow for cyclists to get through very well, tweet about it to @RideFC.
As more and more people add information that’s being collected in real time and on location, this resource will become increasingly valuable. It might take a little while to gather momentum, but the more people that jump in with updates, the better off we’ll all be. So if you’re on Twitter, please consider helping with this Fort Collins information crowdsourcing movement.