Tuesday, October 24, 2017

LaneSpotter Needs Your Help to Make St. Louis More Bike-Friendly

Posted By on Tue, Oct 24, 2017 at 6:35 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY OF FLICKR/PAUL SABLEMAN
LaneSpotter, the new app that just chose St. Louis as one of its eight pilot cities, wants to be "like Waze for cycling" — a real-time source of best routes and road conditions that's designed for cyclists.

But getting good maps in St. Louis is dependent on getting cyclists to pitch in. Like Waze, LaneSpotter relies on those who use the roads to provide data. Until a good number are contributing, it's simply not as useful as it should be.

So this week, LaneSpotter is sponsoring "The Great Rate." All week long, cyclists are encouraged to help build the city's first cycling map, simply by providing information about their knowledge of various roads and trails in the area. While the app is currently only available for iPhones, you can only work from a desktop to help with the map-building.

Inducements include the chance to win a new Hakka MX bike.

Says founder Lynsie Campbell, "What makes this week so critical is that all of the features that we build moving forward will rely on the safety data that we collect. The faster we can collect this data, the more quickly we can move forward in providing lots of different tools to cyclists, like the ability to easily find a nearby bike shop, report large potholes, get updates on bike lane or trail closures.

"Our goal is to build an interactive experience that will help cyclists find the safest routes in their city, in real-time."

Campbell says St. Louis got picked as a pilot city in part because of the massive increase in the number of people biking to work to here — 270 percent in the last ten years, which she says makes it the fifth fastest-growing city for such commutes.

She says Trailnet also gave the project a big local push. "Upon hearing about LaneSpotter from a friend, they reached out to us to see what they could do to help make St. Louis a pilot city. It's always extremely helpful when an advocacy group is willing to help promote our app as a safe cycling tool."

Trailnet did its work. Now are you going to do yours? Visit The Great Rate's site to see if your knowledge can help ... or download the app.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com


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