Baton Rouge Bike Racks

Biking in Baton Rouge is difficult: there are no dedicated bicycle lanes and vehicle speed limits are high. It can be pretty frightening to bike anywhere. And oh, the frustration of looking for a bike rack to lock up to. Since there are so few in town, bikers tend to lock up to trees, railings, and posts.

I bike to downtown pretty frequently, so I started a pilot project to identify the locations of bike racks down there. The result is this webpage. It has two modes: read-only and editable. You'd need to log-in to see the editable mode. It's how I add and edit locations on the map directly. I might make this public for crowd-sourcing the input and verification, but for now I have it closed off to just me.

This web app is most useful when you're out in the field on your bike, looking to lock up downtown. It won't show you posts and railings for obvious reasons: they're everywhere.

Edit mode:

blue star You are here

At first, I wanted to use my phone's GPS functionality to add markers. I wrote a lot of code to auto-acquire positioning (latitude, longitude, and accuracy) and let me decide when to save. What I discovered during testing is that it sucks: every marker needed to be manually corrected. So I decided to just show a marker for my current position as a reference. Markers are now added manually through double-tapping the map in edit mode. I move them to where I want then double-tap again to prompt a save. (I use double-clicks because it's not possible to implement a "long-tap"/"tap-and-hold" on a Google Map yet. Maybe in version 4.)

It has been brought to my attention that the Bike BR web app also has bike rack locations. Problem with that one is the accuracy of the information: I have noticed they show some racks that do not exist or are in the wrong location. My locations, on the other hand, are timestamped with a "last verified" date and time so you can judge how stale the data is. I also pinpoint the exact location so you don't have to circle around searching for the rack. But because they have locations that I do not, I will be using their map to plan some bike trips to see if they exist. If they do, I'll add markers to my map.