NolaCycle is a project aimed to create a high quality cycling map of New Orleans. Cycling maps include information beyond just streets and their names that benefits cyclists. In our map, we highlight the pavement quality, car travel speed, lane width, and special caution areas (busy intersections, man-eating potholes, or high accident areas). Volunteers help to collect this data by attending mapping events.
The information is then digitized to make a map of the data we collected to help cyclists - young, old, local, and tourist alike - navigate New Orleans.

Check out the blog for updates on the project, ways to get involved, and volunteer mapping events!

If you have questions, feel free to make a public comment on the blog entry or e-mail us directly at

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Newly repaved Uptown Roads

The T-P did an article today about the logic of repaving in New Orleans and included a handy map of some newly repaved roads in Uptown. Thought you guys might be interested in looking that this.

"If you do that fairly regularly, it's a cheaper way to maintain the streets," Mendoza said.

Residents of three Uptown neighborhoods recently began to feel the effects of Mendoza's preferred method as construction crews worked block by block in small sections of town, patching minor damage and pouring new asphalt.

While the project in the St. Mary area included short portions of just two streets, scores of blocks covering a total of 1¤3/4 miles in the Irish Channel and West Riverside neighborhoods got a facelift.

Mendoza said the city consulted with Entergy New Orleans and the Sewerage & Water Board to make sure that streets slated for smoothing weren't scheduled to be dug up during the next several years for routine maintenance of utility or drainage lines.

The chosen streets were good candidates for the city's first stab at neighborhood-wide street rehabilitation because they didn't flood in Hurricane Katrina, meaning damage to subsurface utilities was not as great as in swamped areas.

Together, the street projects cost about $2.5 million, financed by bonds sold in 2005, city records show. The city hired MWH Inc. as the consulting engineer and Boh Brothers Construction Co. as the contractor for all three jobs.

While Mendoza hailed the projects as a success, it's unlikely the systematic restoration process will be replicated in other neighborhoods anytime soon.

Street repairs are on hold in most areas that flooded because the S&WB and Entergy haven't finished their repairs, he said.

"We can't do these everywhere because there are some places where the Sewerage & Water Board has major repairs that need to be done, or where Entergy still needs to convert the gas lines," Mendoza said."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Upcoming mapping days!

We're back in action this weekend and next! Come on out the help finish up the remaining sections for the first NolaCycle map.

December 6: Gert Town/Hollygrove

11AM, Jefferson Davis Neutral Ground at Earhart. Mapping remaining areas upriver of Broad Street and riverside of I-10.

December 7: Central City
11AM, Old Winn-Dixie at S. Claiborne Ave and Toledano St. Mapping remaining areas downriver of Broad Street and riverside of I-10.

December 13: 7th Ward
11AM, Small park at Esplanade Ave and N. Tonti St. Mapping area between Esplanade Ave, Broad St, I-10 and Florida Ave.

December 14: St. Roch
11AM, St. Roch Park. Mapping areas between St. Claude Ave, I-10, Florida Ave and Press St.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Metro Bike Coalition meeting coming up

For more info about MBC check out their website at

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Brydum Tandem has a facebook group and I need help planning events around Mardi Gras

Hey everyone! We've all been busy lately, so sorry if you haven't seen us around. I'm currently trying to finish up this quarter at UC and calling/e-mail all my friends in Nola trying to find a place to live. So...if you have a room to sublet from January 1st to March 31st near downtown, I might just be the subleasee for you!

In bike related news, Eira launched a facebook group for the Brydum Tandem Project. This is the bike buddy program I've been trying to convince you all to help with. Here's the run down on the project from Eira:

"In response to the recent death of San Francisco activist Kirsten Brydum, New Orleans area cyclists have proposed the idea of implementing a "bike buddy" program. Cyclists in need of a fellow cyclist to accompany them to their destination would call a dispatch hotline, and in turn, the hotline operator would dispatch the "bike buddy" on duty for the night. We are currently looking for dispatchers, and ESPECIALLY those willing to work a shift as a bike buddy escort. We can also use the help of people with cars, as well as those who can help patch tires.

If you are interested in helping to plan this program, whether as a bike buddy or dispatcher, please get in touch in one of these ways:
1. Sending a message to Eira, the creator of this group
2. Emailing your contact information and general availability
3. Attending our weekly meeting on Wednesday at 7 pm at the Iron Rail Bookshop and Library (511 Marigny, New Orleans LA)"

Also, this is going to be my first Mardi Gras in New Orleans, so I need help figuring out how to plan events in the winter to avoid overlap with big events and parades. I've seen some parade listings and whatnot, but I need to know which ones cover all the parades, when they start, what other big events should I avoid conflict with, or should I just be like "screw it, we won't do any events in February."

Also, if you're thinking, "Lauren, you started this project back in June, where's the map? How much of if is done?" I would encourage you to e-mail UC's School of Planning and tell them to drop the paper requirement of senior project. Seriously, do it. They already know how I feel, but maybe they'll listen to an angry public more then me. As far as when it looks like the map will be completed with all the final touches, all nice and pretty and ready for printing in June. I should have a good working copy that you can download from this site by the end of March. Somehow, between New Years, Mardi Gras, going out 3 days a week, and work, I'm going to have to really get cranking on this. I forgot how hard it was to do anything that matters when you're busy doing meaningless papers and projects for your professors.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Metro Bike Coalition Meeting this Wednesday

Metro Bicycle Coalition Board Meeting
Wed., Nov. 12 at 5:45 p.m.- 7 p.m.
Fair Grinds Coffee House
3133 Ponce de Leon
Upstairs meeting room--take outside staircase to second floor.
Draft Agenda
1. Membership: Decide location and budget for member meeting Dec. 7. Should we pay $300 for the ISL of Louisiana? Is any thing else available? Budget for t-shirts, printing, etc.
2. Encouragement Ride Update. Kara has some large issues about the ride route and costs that could benefit from discussion.
3. Website. Dan has a proposal for changing the URL and location/server of the site.
4. Policy: Discussion of City Master Planning Process--status, should MBC submit comments?
Please let me know if you have additional items for the agenda.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wisner bike path opens! More on the way!

Photo: Chris Granger

From the Times-Picayune (Dan is once again interviewed - he's such a rock star. I think all the female journalists at T-P have a crush on him. Only thing that explains how often he gets quoted.)

"The long-awaited Wisner bike path officially opens today, one of three projects completed this year that double the miles of cycling trails in New Orleans.

And there's more to come.

The 4.7-mile hybrid path -- which stretches from Lafitte Street at North Jefferson Davis Parkway, along the Bayou St. John side of City Park, to Beauregard Avenue and Lakeshore Drive -- will be followed by three other bike projects.

By November of next year, bike lanes, such as those on St. Claude Avenue, will probably likely be completed on Harrison Avenue, from Marconi Drive to Wisner Boulevard; on Robert E. Lee Boulevard, from St. Bernard Avenue to Paris Avenue; and on Louisiana Avenue, from St. Charles Avenue to Magazine Street, said Robert Mendoza, the city's director of public works.

The growth of bike lanes, shared lanes and bike paths in New Orleans increases the odds that the city will be able to obtain more federal money to create infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, said Dan Jatres, program manager for the Regional Planning Commission's Greater New Orleans Pedestrian and Bicycle Program.

"Wisner -- a north-south path -- is another down payment on the future for an interconnected system," said Jatres, who said that the University of New Orleans, the Regional Planning Commission and the Department of Public Works are collaborating to obtain money via a federal transportation bill.

The federal government provided 95 percent of the financing for the $1.4 million Wisner project, and a Wisner foundation grant provided the remaining 5 percent.

The hybrid path includes a mix of 10-foot-wide concrete paths and existing roads marked with bicycle symbols and bike-route signs. A 1.7-mile concrete path has been placed between Wisner Boulevard and the bayou from Milton Street to Robert E. Lee Boulevard. And a two-block concrete section has been built between Esplanade Avenue and West Moss Street.

The streets with signs and symbols that inform motorists they are sharing a lane with cyclists include Moss, Lelong Drive, Golf Drive, Zachary Taylor Drive, Beauregard and Lakeshore Drive. Some of those streets wind through City Park.

And for much of the ride, cyclists will be able to travel from Lake Pontchartrain to City Park without having to deal with regular traffic," said Bao Vu, a project manager for the city's Department of Public Works.

The Wisner project, as Mayor Ray Nagin sees it, "will greatly enhance the quality of life for our youth and families."

With the exception of a limited stretch alongside the south end of Bayou St. John, the Wisner path connects the Xavier community with the lakefront, with the South Jefferson Davis Parkway path covering part of the route. The new project enhances recreational opportunities, creating a safe place for walkers, bikers and runners, Nagin said.

With the addition of Wisner, the city now has 19.8 miles of cycling infrastructure, including 2.6 miles of bike lanes, 10.3 miles of bike paths separated from city streets and 6.9 miles of shared lanes, said Jatres, who will gather with others today at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Wisner Boulevard in City Park to celebrate the opening of the Wisner trail." By Leslie Williams.

NORTA should take a hint from Louisville and air some commercials like this!

NORTA needs to dump those stupid bike passes and have Lil Wayne preform an even better rap of how to use them.

Who knew anything good would ever come out of Louisville?  

(Just kidding, I have lots of friends who grew up there. It's a nice town. I love Kentucky. I also love this video!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Longer distance crosstown routes - your NolaCycle "take home project"

Many of you know that the first NolaCycle map is just going to the East Bank south of I-610 due to time restrictions with graduation in June and having to have something final to turn in.  We're planning on continuing NolaCycle after June so we can map the whole city, West Bank, New Orleans East, and all.  To make up for the lack of comprehensive coverage of these areas on NolaCycle Version 1, I would like to include some recommended crosstown routes on a smaller supplemental map on the backside of the main map (or page 2 if you were to download the map online).  

I think the best way to do crosstown routes is for community members to submit some of their preferred routes they take to get to school, work, parks, etc.  Since the route map is going to smaller, I would like to only include a handful of really helpful routes for people to use.  I'd like to input from people on this idea though - how to rate the routes (easy, difficult, fast, slow, high or low traffic, etc.), where should the routes go, how should people submit routes to me, etc.  So this is the fun part where you get to tell me what to do!  Comment away my crosstown commuting friends!

Friday, October 24, 2008

New website URL! New e-mail addresses!

Thanks to my wonderful roommate, Brook, NolaCycle has now secured and!  So when you type in, it'll direct you to this blog!  We'll set it up to do the same with the .org address too.  Eventually, we're going to a have much more user friendly and professional site, once again thanks to Brook, but that probably won't be for a couple more weeks/months (we're both really busy people).  I'll also probably have to babysit her dog a few more times to pay for it too.

With our snazzy new url comes snazzy new e-mail addresses for the NolaCycle team!  
Lauren =
Tom =
Dan =
So simple and easy, you'll never have to try to remember our personal e-mail addresses ever again!  But, incase you forget our fancy new e-mail addresses, I'll still check every once in a while.

Feeling left out?  Really want a fancy e-mail address?  Well if you help run events, promote, or just volunteer a ton, you can have one too!  I can register up to 200 e-mail addresses with that address!

Also, also...
The NolaCycle project proposal paper will up online in PDF format soon so you can read it!  Okay, I know most of you probably don't care to read the paper because you know what's going on, but I know some people in other cities have been interested in doing a similar project in their town.  The paper will outline the methodology of how NolaCycle works from start to how we hope it'll finish.  It won't be really good because it's just the first stage of the senior problem project that I'm being forced to do, but come June, there will be really nice, professional paper about the NolaCycle project that will be available.  

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hey, did you know we have a facebook group?

I've been getting a lot of request to be added to the mailing list, so I figured I should repost the fact that NolaCycle has a facebook group - NolaCycle Community Bike Mapping Project.  It's another way you can stay up-to-date with what's going on.  We create a facebook event for every mapping meet-up, so if you need some help remembering when events are, joining the group is a great way to stay on track. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tulane's Bike Shop is getting a permanent home!

Good news, Tulane kids - the Bike Shop is getting its own home!  
Phil Schapker, saving Tulane students money and time - one bike at a time.

"The bike shed, which will be located in the 6300 block of Willow Street, will be constructed by group members following a plan designed by an architecture student. According to Phil Schapker, the shed will give the shop a permanent location and allow for storage of repair tools and materials."

The bike shed will be open next semester.  In the mean time, if you're on or near campus and need some help, the shop will operate at its new temporary location and with expanded hours — outside of Le Gourmet on McAlister Drive on Sundays, 1–4 p.m., and Thursdays, 2–5:30 p.m. — through the end of this semester.

A new Times-Picayune article about NolaCycle!

I need to stop doing news interviews and start doing homework.

Anyway, check out Molly Reid's article in the Living section of today's Times-Picayune, or read it online. The photos are by Susan Poag.

The first NolaCycle mapping day at Washington Square.

Patrick and I mapping out the Bywater.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bike buddy meetings EVERY Wednesday

The Iron Rail Book Collective is hosting another meeting about the bike buddy program on Wednesday the 22nd at 7pm. The meeting will be held to organize a bike-escort service for folks who don't want to ride home alone late at night.

The Iron Rail is located in the same warehouse as Plan B bike co-op at 511 Marigny St. in the Marigny.

There will be a meeting every Wednesday at 7pm from now on to work on this project.

I'm not involved in organizing the Bike Buddy program since I'm out of town, so e-mail or call the Iron Rail if you have questions.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bike and Build is looking for volunteers to help build homes while biking across the country

Kristian Sekse from Bike & Build sent me an e-mail the other day about her program where groups of college students raise money and then bike across the country to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. It could be a really fun experience for anyone looking to do something adventurous this summer. I on the other hand have to work, but if you don't, here's a great option to keep you busy while having a great time and going great work.

Kristian is also hiring leaders who are "paid a small performance-based stipend of $1750, and while their responsibility on the road is to keep everyone safe and happy, they enjoy vast amounts of free time to explore new towns, check out local attractions, and indulge in copious amounts of ice cream."

Sunday, October 12, 2008


hey all. here's what we got this week:
apparently we were a bit lazy. or just a little sleepy because of the awesome job we did in the past two weeks.

so here's what it looks like all together! it looks even better from far away and if you squint your eyes. go ahead and try it: doesn't it look like we've done a lot of work?

now, we don't have any more dates planned so far... but we are meeting this week to conspire about what to do next. if you have any suggestions or strategies, please share them! i don't think we'll be mapping this coming weekend, the next weekend (voodoo fest), and maybe even the next weekend (halloween hangovers). but we'll be back soon!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bike Buddy Planning meeting this weekend

In response to the recent death of San Francisco activist Kirsten
Brydum, New Orleans area cyclists have proposed the idea of
implementing a "bike buddy" program. Cyclists in need of a fellow
cyclist to accompany them to their destination would call a dispatch
hotline, and in turn, the hotline operator would dispatch the "bike
buddy" on duty for the night. We can also use the help of people with
cars, as well as those who can help patch tires.

If you are interested in helping to plan this program, whether as a
bike buddy or dispatcher, please attend our first meeting this Sunday,
October 12th at 1:00 pm, at the Iron Rail, 511 Marigny, New Orleans

Monday, October 6, 2008

Zombie bike race October 31st!!!!

Nola Bike Race is holding it's annual Halloween alley cat race on Halloween this year.  If you'd like to volunteer/dress up like a zombie and man the check points and whatever else Paul needs you to do, you should e-mail him.  Seriously, really, you should volunteer if you're not going to race.  And if you're not going to volunteer, you should race.  

And if you're out of town, you can sit around and be upset that nothing this fun ever happens where you are right now.  

Sunday, October 5, 2008

this weekend's haul

this weekend we got this much done:

which brings our grand total thus far to something like this:

the grid is closing in!

thank you to all of those who come out, and those who don't but still theoretically support us.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Activist Kirsten Brydum was murdered while biking back to her friend's house

Anyway, I recently learned about the murder of San Francisco activist Kristen Brydum.  I get pretty shaken up every time I hear about a young, innocent woman my own age being murdered in New Orleans.  Usually I wouldn't try to talk about murders that happen in our city on here, but there is a detail of this story which I think is really important that cyclists in New Orleans know about.

Kristen was murdered while biking back by herself from a bar.  This is something all of us have probably done at one time or another.  Another important fact - she was a visitor who had just gotten into town.  This was her first trip to New Orleans.

This is what I'm trying to say - being on a bike can make you fell safe, untouchable, but you're not any safer than walking if someone has a gun.  

You're not safe if your traveling alone, say at 5 am, coming back from the bar. You're drunk, you might get lost, and you're not going to as aware as you usually are.  If you have to, leave your bike locked up the Quarter and take a cab right to your front door.  It's better that your bike get stolen then someone to hurt or kill you.  This is especially true if you have to bike home through neighborhoods that are dangerous.  I don't want to say that it's safe to do so through Uptown or whatever, you need to use your own judgement.  This is just my advice.  I've biked damn near everything in this city during the day without trouble, but it's always good to be with someone else.  You're always safer than way.  

Take care of your visitors!  I really have to thank my friends I stayed with my first overnight trip to New Orleans.  They drilled it in me not to walk alone anywhere anytime (this is a good rule for people who don't know where they're going and might get lost) and told me what roads to take to get everywhere I needed to go.  Their advice - stay on main streets like Royal, Canal, and Magazine - well-light and well-traveled - these are pretty safe roads to send your out-of-town friends on.  They didn't encourage me to explore the 9th Ward without them.  But the didn't scare me senseless - they just told it to me like it is.  You need to do this when your friends (or friends of friends, or couchsurfers, or whoever) are in town.  If your friends are traveling on bike, encourage them to bike in pairs or groups and avoid dangerous neighborhoods, especially at night or in the early morning.  I've been up by where Kristen was murdered on my bike before, but with 2 people from the neighborhood in the afternoon.  If your friends what to bike out to 9th Ward or whatever to see the Katrina damage, take them in the afternoon or around dinner time when people are out on their porches and cars are on the roads.  Don't let them go on their own.  Many people who live in the Upper and Lower 9th are great, friendly people and it can be a pretty enjoyable ride, but at night those good people are asleep or working 3rd shift and its people who are taking advantage of the neighborhood's dark streets and empty homes that are out.  

Give your visitors a map and mark out easy and safe routes from your house to popular destination if they're going to be going around town on their own.   While I don't know the details of the case, I'm going to bet Kristen got lost and ended up in the wrong place and the wrong time, alone, without any protection, and no one around to help her.  There is almost no one living in that area right now - it's a ghost town.  Probably not somewhere she meant to end up.

People - be safe.  Take care of one another.  Inform visitors of dangers and don't let them travel alone - on foot or on bike.

If you want to learn more about Kristen and her really amazing ideas and actions, check out her friends' memorial site.    She was a core organizer of SF's Really Really Free Market, which people come with stuff to give away and you take whatever you need - there is no money and no trading.  Just giving and taking.  Personally, I think it'd be a really wonderful idea if people in Nola could do a Really Really Free Market in her honor.   She was really into bike co-ops, radical health collectives, book collectives and Food Not Bombs.  It's so terrible that such an active, inspiring young person like Kristen was murdered.  Everyone has such great potential, so please, please, look out for one another and try to keep visitors safe. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

crunkical mass?

while i was bumming around jackson square last friday night before critical mass, a friendly mysterious girl handed me THIS:

crunkical mass? bicycles? costumes? booze? sign me up!

i'll be heading out here after Saturday's mapping event, and i suggest everyone shows up to map and then head down to washington square park for this most momentous event. (it's okay if you want to wear your costume during the mapping event, too.)

this saturday, october 4th! party ride!

edit: actually, i'm making $75 calling in election results from voting places for WWLTV on the 4th. but i still endorse this event. hell, i'll do my own party ride calling in the votes.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

look at what we got done this weekend!

it looks like the profile of a man's head.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Get on the sidewalk!" aka, why I miss New Orleans.

Ug, let me tell you guys how much I miss biking in New Orleans.  First, I can't breath here.  Cincinnati has terrible air quality, and now I remember why I was pretty much convinced I had asthma before I went to New Orleans.  After breathing in diesel particulates and nasty, stale Ohio air, it actually hurts to cough.  I'm not quite in hill-climbing shape right now, so that might have something to do with it, but I can recall that same painful cough from last winter on my ride to school everyday.  I've seen people ride with masks and bandanas here before, but I never broke down and bought one.  Maybe I'll have to now that my lungs don't know how to deal with terrible air quality anymore.  

Alright, second - Cincinnati Critical Mass.  New Orleans Massers - I love you guys.  You might be a small group sometimes, but you're a fun group, a friendly group, and even if you gear-heads speed ahead, you eventually slow down and wait for people.  Cincy CM was a big group of kids I've never met before, minus about 7 people who have been riding CM for years.  Maybe it was a bit too big of a group for serious socializing.  Also, the group got separated because the fast kids didn't want to wait.  It makes no sense why these boys have to ride this way because they do fast group rides about 3 times a week in Cincinnati.  CM is not a training ride, its a time to slow down, hang out, and make new friends.  It's cool to ride ahead a bit, but you have to slow down and wait up sometimes.  When I was in better condition to deal with hills, I'd almost always ride at the front, but I'd never leave anyone behind.  Just bogus.  No wonder we always end up with a different kids every month - no one wants to deal with that shit.  Okay, also, I miss my old bike buddies.  I have no idea where they are these days.  Maybe they moved away, but people have told me they really just don't ride CM anymore. 

Finally, stupid drivers.  I've gotten a hard time for not wearing my helmet religiously in New Orleans, but it's only because I don't feel scared.  Cincinnati drivers can be a pretty mean bunch and I don't leave home with it out now.  I think a lot of it has to do with a lot of people coming from the burbs and learning to drive in the burbs where there are no bikes on the street.  Also, it has to do with people being jerks in general.  Alright, get this - I was walking with a big group of kids yesterday and someone threw a can at us from their car.  Pop can attacks on pedestrians!  What is the world coming to?  Biking home today on my neighborhood street, a lady told me to get on the sidewalk.  Usually I'd yell back, but I couldn't breath (see paragraph 1), so I'll just have to yell at her another day.  Drivers in the Nati seem to be getting a bit better, but seriously, don't tell me to get on the sidewalk, give me a some room, and stop honking your horn.  If it wasn't from all the air pollution from your car you drive EVERYWHERE I could probably bike faster.  

Finally - hills.  Pretty to look at, terrible to bike on.  

Alright, my rant is over.  New Orleans cyclists - you guys are awesome, I miss you, and you're part of one of the best bike communities I've come across.  Also, New Orleans is a great city for cycling, and don't ever forget it (or decide to move to the midwest).  

Monday, September 22, 2008

Jeff Davis clean-up day October 19th at 11 am

Everyone who bikes from Mid-City to Uptown knows Jeff Davis is really notorious for trash and broken glass. Lacy Underalls from the Big Easy Roller Girls is organizing a clean up for the bridge so we don't all have to suffer from the risk of flat tires anymore!


My name is lacy smith, also known as lacy underalls of the Big Easy Roller Girls (BERG). BERG is organizing a clean up of the S. Jeff Davis Parkway overpass by Xavier.

Although the bike path running in the middle of the overpass is a great way to connect uptown and midcity, it is often littered with trash and glass, making it dangerous for cyclists. As a group that understands the need to have a hazard-free surface to roll on, we rollergirls want to clean it up!

The clean up will take place on October 19 at 11 am. We will meet at the statue at the foot of the overpass on Tulane Ave. We'll bring some push brooms and trash bags, but encourage everyone to bring their own brooms, bags and dustpans! (In the event of rain, we will reschedule).

We're inviting Tulane Law School's Environmental Law Society, Critical Mass, Metro Bicycle Coalition, MidCity Neighborhood Association and you! Please pass this along to anyone that may be interested.


lacy underalls
Big Easy Rollergirls

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Meet-up Times: 4pm

Since fall is setting in and sunset is getting earlier, all scheduled NolaCycle events will begin at 4pm instead of 5pm.

bike auction! wednesday, sept. 24.

Hey all. I just wanted to point out an opportunity that is coming up that I greet with a vast ambivalence. Loyola requires a registration to park and keep bikes on campus, and at the end of every year, the University Police clips those bikes that are not claimed from the bike racks around campus and throws them into a big cage in one of the parking garages. The bad thing is that your bike disappears if you're not careful. The good thing is that they auction all of these bikes off for cheap to the community. And the bad thing again is that this money goes to the police, who can nary lend you a patch for your bike, nor even a bike pump or a wrench if you're ever having trouble. Ya dig?

Here's the info, straight from UP:


University Police will hold a bike auction on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 beginning at 5:30 p.m. on the 4th floor of the Freret Street garage. Viewing of the bicycles will take place from 4:30 p.m. until auction time. Bid opening will range between $20.00 and $50.00 depending on the condition of the bicycle. All bikes will be sold in an AS IS CONDITION and ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Checks will only be accepted from Loyola University community members. All other must pay CASH. Bikes must be removed immediately upon purchase.

Check it out if you've got a few bucks and want to look for some buried treasure. Skip it if you'd feel awkward buying some random kid's bike from a cop.

ALSO. This Friday is everyone's favorite day of the month!! Critical Mass meets at Jackson Square at 6 p.m. on Friday! Come and we'll have fun.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More meet-ups scheduled

Well, Lauren is headed back to Cincinnati for a few months, but Tom and I will be keeping NolaCycle going strong. We had a great group of people, mostly Tulane and Loyola students, help out this past weekend. We'll be doing a lot more mapping in the Uptown area over the next few weeks, so we look forward to seeing y'all some more.

We're gonna take a week off and then start mapping again on Sept 27 & 28. The full schedule through mid-October is below:

Saturday September 27th, 4pm - Freret St. at McAlister Dr. Mapping Freret and Uptown.

Sunday September 28th, 4pm - Freret St. at McAlister Dr. Mapping Broadmoor.

Saturday October 4th, 4pm - Comiskey Park. Mapping Mid-City/Treme.

Sunday October 5th, 4pm - Park at Esplanade and Grand Rte St John. Mapping 7th Ward/Fairgrounds.

Saturday October 11th, 4pm - Palmer Park. Mapping Hollygrove.

Sunday October 12th, 4pm - Samuel Square. Mapping Central City.

Hopefully we're done with hurricanes and we'll be able to get a couple weekends of good fun meet-ups complete. We plan on having events through October and then take a weekend off for Voodoo Fest. See y'all on the 27th.

Highway to Hope - Life & Times

Highway to Hope - Life & Times - Loyola's Kevin Zansler reports on alternative transportation in New Orleans.  More love for NolaCycle and cycling in New Orleans!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wonderland Alleycat Race!

Big bummer I'm not going to be in town for this.  But, you should go because it'll be fun and money goes to help feed the homeless of New Orleans. 

What's done so far

Blue = completed
Red = almost completed had it not been for rain/flat tires

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New flyer!

Here's a new single flyer for Loyola and Tulane. Let's hope Ike likes Cuba so much it decides to hang out there as a tropical storm and not come to Louisiana so we don't have to postpone again!

Friday, September 5, 2008

New days for Loyola and Tulane events

I hope everyone had a safe trip home and there isn't much damage to anyone's home. I know a few people had some roof damage, but it looks like our city is in really good shape!

Tulane and Loyola don't start up school again until Monday, so it doesn't make much sense to do events this weekend. So next weekend we'll be on campus. This will hopefully give people time to come back, clean up their yards, see all their friends, and catch the Saints game tomorrow!

Saturday September 13th, 5pm - Loyola University at the Residential Quad bike racks. Mapping Uptown and Carrollton.

Sunday September 14th, 5pm - Tulane University in front of the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life (LBC). Mapping Uptown and Fontainebleau.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

We might all be on our "evacuation vacations" now, but NolaCycle is planning on being back for next weekend

I hope everyone is safe wherever they are right now - with friends, family, or in shelters.  I'm currently in Austin and Tom and Dan are out of the city too.  Hoping everything is fine and our city re-opens right after the storm, I'll be back in New Orleans Wednesday or Thursday.  I'm really nervous, but hopefully everything will be okay.  I'm trying my best to have fun and not to worry, but I keep thinking about our city and surrounding communities.  If the city reopens and everything is fine, we will still be meeting at Loyola and Tulane this coming weekend.

On that note, if everything is not okay, NolaCycle mapping events will be on hold.  I think it's more important that we work on fixing our homes and cleaning up the city than mapping for the time being.  Once life is about back to normal, we'll continue with NolaCycle just as before. 

Enough thinking about Gustav...I'm going to go back to trying to relax.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Flyer for Loyola/Tulane Event

(I fixed it!)

You can place 4 of these on a 8 1/5 x 11 page.  E-mail for the PDF sheet with 4 flyers on it.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Since it's now almost fall and it's getting darker earlier, the events for September 13th and 14th on Loyola and Tulane's campus will begin at 5pm instead of 6pm.  

Friday, August 22, 2008

Maybe somewhere in New Orleans there is a bike-theft supervillain and 2,865 stolen bikes - there was in Toronto!

Get this - in Toronto there is this guy, Igor Kenk, the owner of a used-bike shop, who got caught with 2,865 stolen bikes - some in his store, others in various rented garages throughout the city.

This article is just so crazy I thought I should share it with you guys. The police finally caught this guy because after so many complaints they finally decided to plant bikes and wait for him. Somehow I doubt there is one guys behind all the bike theft in New Orleans. We're not really a town with a just a few supervillains.

Toronto cyclists searching for their bikes at the police garage - photo by Peter Redman

Igor Kenk looks like a winner.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Urban Velo's post about NolaCycle

NOLAcycle Bike Map Project - Check out what Urban Velo wrote about us!

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Has the NOPD been ignoring you when you report bike-related crimes? (Or any crime for that matter)

It's come to my attention that in the last month or so, the NOPD has been almost completely ignoring crimes committed against cyclists. The police know where the man who hit David Gordon lives, but won't act because he has out-of-state plates. Also, a number of cyclists have been attacked by a pair of teenage boys throwing things at them through the Marigny and the Bywater. When people tried to report these crimes, the police ignored them too.

The author of sent an e-mail to Jac at Defend New Orleans recommending how concerned citizens of New Orleans can help. This is part of the letter:

New Orleans has a Metropolitan Crime Commision, which oversees
corruption and malfeasance of local government. I believe that these
recent failures by the NOPD, at least in our neck of the woods merits
their action. I urge each and every one of you to make contact, and
let them know how you feel about living like fish in a barrel.

Mr. John Humphries has been receptive about hearing these complaints.
Please be polite & concise. The Metropolitan Crime Commision can be
reached by phone at: 540 524-7000 or toll free at 888 524-7001. The
email address is: Simple letters can make a
huge difference in large numbers.

I’ve also received an email from Baty Landis at SilenceIsViolence,
letting me know that many citizens are outraged, like myself (read my
posts about this), about Mayor Ray Nagin accepting an award for
bravery and recovery from his millionaire developer friends. We are
planning on assembling for protest. The Award Ceremony takes place
Friday Night at the Ritz Carlton, at 7pm. I urge all who are
interested to meet there for the Silence Is Violence protest at 6pm

This is a chance to make our collective voices heard. Contacting the
Metro Crime Commision about the failure of our local police is a
chance to tell your individual story. Please, do whatever you can to
help make a difference. The life you save could be yours or that of
one you love.

Lord David
Skull Club
New Orleans

I try to keep things positive, but sometimes enough is enough. If you or someone you know has been ignored by the NOPD (I think that would include everyone living in New Orleans) - SPEAK UP!!!!

Locations for Loyola and Tulane mapping events

During the weekend of September 13 and 14, NolaCycle will be holding events on Loyola and Tulane's campus.

Saturday September 13 at 5pm we'll meet in the Residential Quad in Loyola's Uptown campus. You can view a map of their campus here. This is one of the residence halls near the Quad:

Sunday September 14 at 5pm we'll meet in front of the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life (LBC) on Tulane's campus. The map of Tulane's Uptown campus is here. This is the LBC:

If you'd like to help promote these events, I always have lots of flyers and I can make a poster. E-mail me at to help out!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mapping with Rubarb Tomorrow

NolaCycle is rollin out to the Upper 9th tomorrow to help the kids at Rubarb map their neighborhood.  Rubarb is a community bike shop that specializes in kids' build-a-bike programs. Liz and all the good folks down there teach the kids how fix broken bikes so the kids in the neighborhood can have bikes of their own.  

Rubarb is located at 3501 N Miro St in building in the parking lot behind St. Mary of the Angel's Church (it's actually closer to the intersection of Tonti and Gallier than Miro). We'll be out there from about 5pm to 6 or 7pm.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hit and Run happened yesterday - call the cops if you see this car

Metro Bike Coalition Meeting this coming Wednesday

Metro Bicycle Coalition
August Board Meeting
Wed., August 13
5:45-7 p.m.
Fairgrinds Coffee House (Upstairs Meeting Room)

3133 Ponce de Leon

Fairgrinds is just off Esplanade, near Canseco's grocery and across Esplanade from Alcee Fortier park. Use the outside staircase to get to the upstairs meeting room.

Draft Agenda

--Planning for Encouragement Ride (Kara)

--Implementing Membership Drive (Dan)

--Planning program and date of fall membership meeting (John)

--Update on Emergency Relief/Submerged Roads (Karen)

--Circulation of Board Nomination form

John Renne will chair the meeting.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What's done, what we're mapping soon

So I didn't do anything fun tonight and made this map of everything we've mapped so far and then I spent over an hour on the phone talking friends into hosting events at their houses or at work.

Days on the map are WRONG, but the dates are right. I need to stop doing stuff at midnight when I'm mentally exhausted. Anyway, I'll fix it later.

Alright, so this what you really need to know - there will be AFTER PARTIES when we map this Saturday (Irish Channel, Garden District, etc.), next Saturday (7th Ward), and on the 24th (Riverside). You're going to have to come map if you want to know the location (mainly because I don't want to give away addresses online).

On a sad note, my pool is still green. On a good note, there is a big show at Tipitina's Saturday night, so we can go to that around ten.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Carrollton and Mid-City DIY maps posted

DIY maps for the Mid-City and Carrollton areas are now posted!  These are maps you can do on your free time and scan or mail back to me when you're finished.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Violence and Cycling - Response to July Critical Mass Craziness in Seattle and NYC

So if you haven't heard yet, July wasn't the greatest month for Critical Mass. Luckily for us down in New Orleans, we had a wonderful ride with a great turnout of friendly folks and no injuries or tickets. That overall has been my experience with Critical Mass in New Orleans, but there have been some crazy times when I rode in Cincinnati. Usually the rides are great, but I do remember one month where we finally got over 100 people and the police took notice, gave a number of tickets, and my friend Corey almost got arrested, but when you scream at cops, you're asking for it. We lost a number of regular riders after that event, but since then and until I left, things went really well.

Well, things didn't go so well in Seattle and NYC last month. In Seattle two cyclists were hit, according to the driver on accident, according to cyclists on purpose, and then cyclists attacked his car. I wasn't there, I don't know what really happened, so I'm not going to say who's at fault here. You can read about it here. Also, in NYC, a police officer attacked a cyclist and pushed him to the ground. There seems to be no reason why the officer did this. My past experiences are telling me this officer was probably just some jerk who really hates cyclists - they're out there. Luckily here in New Orleans conflicts between cyclists and police are so rare I've never meet anyone who's been involved in one.

Critical Mass is something a lot of cyclists either love or hate. Personally, I love it. I love riding in large groups, meeting new people, and biking all over the city. Some people view Critical Mass as a protest while others just a fun social gatherings. Here in New Orleans, I'd say we're much more of a fun social gathering than a protest. If there is ever an incident with a driver or officer here in New Orleans, I want to urge all cyclists to handle it lawfully. Instead of attacking a driver who hits fellow riders, you have enough people to record the license number, probably people with cameras so you can take pictures, and at least 30 witnesses. What the kids in Seattle did was totally uncalled for and if they wouldn't have attacked the dude's car, there wouldn't be all this negative press and there wouldn't be any cyclists in jail awaiting trial. I hope nothing like that ever happens in New Orleans, and judging by all the people I've rode with, I don't think it ever will.

Moral of the story - keep on riding and keep the Mass positive and keep violence out of the rides.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Neighborhood Game Plan - PLEASE COMMENT!

So we also decided for sake of my senior thesis, that we're going to focus on neighborhoods south of I-610. After spring and I'm all done with school, we'll work on finishing the rest of the city. Honestly, I'm not terribly crazy about this idea - I really want to do all of the main city (New Orleans East and the West Bank past Algiers might have to wait awhile). But if fall and winter go really well, I think we can still get all of the Lake-side neighborhoods done too.

Anyway, here's a game plan I just thought of for the rest of the summer:
August 9, 10 - Mid-City and Garden District (rain and high temperatures didn't make for a good turn out on those days)
August 16, 17 - 7th Ward, Lower 9th/Holy Cross
August 23, 24 - Upper 9th/8th Ward, Algiers Point
August 30, 31 - Tulane Area, Audubon Area/Riverside
September 6, 7 - OFF (little bro is coming into town)
September 13 or 14 - City Park end of summer BBQ and Lakeview/Gentilly mapping

These are not confirmed yet, but just an idea. There will be more dates through the fall, but those won't be decided for awhile.
Let me know what you think! Also, if you live in any of these neighborhoods and what to help promote and organize, I'm willing to switch up days to work better for you.

Some idea that came out of the NoleCycle meeting

So in proper New Orleans style, we did a lot more eating, drinking, and goofing around than planning, but there were some good ideas that came out between jokes about Cleveland, crazy neighbor stories, and complaining about some of our top-quality Louisiana politicians. Here's a small sampling:

-We're going to team up with Humid Beings (a new project from Dirty Coast), which seeks to help organization in New Orleans network and will help you stay on top of everything going on in the city. Check out the blog they have set up right now and check back in late August when Michael and Blake get this baby rollin'!
-Tom Macom is going to be running some mapping events during the fall while I'm in Ohio. We're going to put doing any more events in the Uptown area on hold until Loyola and Tulane come back into session. Tom, who's a student at Loyola, will be heading some of these up. If you're a student and would like to get involved with organizing, promoting, or just showing up, we would love it if you e-mailed me so I can get you on the mailing list.
-We're going to do a BIG end of the summer event at City Park! It'll sometime in early September and we'll meet up there, map some of Lakeview, Gentilly, and Mid-City, come back to the park and do a BIG BBQ. More details will come out in a week or so.
-Feel free to volunteer your house as a meet up spot. My roommate's friend may be hosting us when we map the 7th Ward. Feel free to make the same offer. Having access to water, bathrooms, and a/c is always nice.
-If you and your friends want to get together to do your neighborhood and not do a big public promoted thing, I'm down. Let me know and we'll organize it.
-Eira wants us to find Eagle Scouts to do mapping with us ("they're good kids that get things done!") So, you if you know any biking Eagle Scouts, send them my e-mail address.
-On that same note, we'd like to combine our events with other organizations events. If you're group or club would like to team up, that would be awesome.
-Maybe we can organize an Alley Cat race to test the map. Kids will get a rough draft of the map when they get their packets and can try to use it to figure out their routes. Then people can give us some feedback on whether it was helpful and then we can get our after-party on at some local bar. Always a good way to end an event.
-To help pay for printing, local businesses can pay to have their location included on the map. We could approach businesses we like (locally-owned, awesome people, great food - places you should really be going, not just who has money to pay)
-Planning meetings a lot of fun when you have food, friends, and wine. Mint Juleps tastes like cough medicine, so Tom can roll with those, I'll roll with my wine. We'll do another planning meeting or two before I have to go to Ohio for the fall. No worries though, I'll be back in December!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Planning meeting Wednesday at 7pm

If you're interested in getting more involved in the NolaCycle project beyond just attending mapping events, you are invited to a planning meeting on Wednesday at 7pm. I have some snacks and probably some beer too (if you bring some food too, we could turn it into a potluck!). If you'd like to attend, please e-mail at for directions.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Crtical Mass this Friday Night....and mapping events for this weekend

Critical Mass is a national event that happens the final Friday of every month across the world. Here in New Orleans we meet up at Jackson Square by the gates in front of St. Louis Cathedral around 6pm. Typically we hang out for a while and get the ride started between 6:45 and 7:00pm. It's always a good time and there is usually some after event of some sort. Everyone who loves to bike is welcome!

Also, don't forget about mapping events for Mid-City and the Audubon Park area of Uptown this weekend.
Saturday July 26th, 3pm - Banks of Bayou St. John (by Orleans Ave and Jeff Davis Hwy)
Sunday July 27th, 3pm - Audubon Park by the playground (near St. Charles)

Hope to see a lot of people out on their bikes this weekend!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

RAIN PLAN - If it's rains, we'll meet at 6pm instead of 3pm's suppose to rain all afternoon!  Well, if it continues, we'll meet up at 6pm instead of 3pm.  I'll try to e-mail people and post it on facebook too.

BRAND NEW MAPPING DAYS (And a later time!)

In August events are going to go from 6pm to 8pm!  I have two August events planned so far, one for Downtown/Medical District and for the Carrollton area.  But all that means all the neighborhoods that you could call "easy" will be finished (neighborhoods I'm familiar with/know where to promote, lots of cyclists, etc).   I'll need a lot more help promoting in Lakeview, Gentilly, Algiers, the Lower 9th/Holy Cross, Upper 9th & 8th Ward, New Orleans East, etc.  If you live in one of these neighborhoods and would like to help organize the event, shoot me an e-mail so we can choose a date and time that will work for everyone.  

Anyway, here's all the up-coming events:
Sat. July 19th (TODAY) 3-5pm @ Coliseum Square (LGD, St. Thomas, Irish Channel)
Sun. July 20th 3-5pm @ Laurence Square (Uptown/Riverside)
Sat. July 26th 3-5pm @ banks of Bayou St. John under some tree by the intersection of Orleans & Jeff Davis (Mid-City)  
Sun. July 27th 3-5pm @ Audubon Park by the playground off St. Charles (Uptown/University Area)
Sat. August 2nd 6-8pm @ Lafayette Square (Downtown/Medical District)
Sun. August 3rd 6-8pm @ the Levee Trail near Carrollton and River Road (Carrollton & University Area)

If we don't finish Midcity or Uptown by then, I'll post DIY maps and possibly organize another event for those neighborhoods.  I'm sensing a good turn-out for Mid-City though, so I'm not too worried about it.

Hope to see all of you soon!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

DIY Maps are up!

I've set up a website to download maps to do yourself! It's still a work in progress, but the ones posted do need to be done. Feel free to make comments for improvements.

NolaCycle Video!

Our video was posted on today! If you were there Saturday, you're probably in the video. Find your smiling face and send it to your mama!

Here is the link for article too!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Busy during the mapping events? No worries - there are other ways to get involved

I know a lot of people in New Orleans work on weekends, so not everyone interested will be able to make those events. But there are plenty of other ways you can help!

Pretty soon I'm going to organize some evening mapping events - not quite sure when yet, but soon. I'll post the dates and times as soon as I hammer it out.

Do you know your neighborhood by heart? I've met a few people who've lived here for decades that do. If so, I can e-mail or drop of maps and a key for you to fill out. I met this guy Louis who was able to map Treme from memory. If you're like Louis, you help is needed!

Also, I can e-mail you sections to do in your free time. This would be SUPER helpful if you live in a neighborhood where there aren't many bikers and it would be hard to organize events with enough people to knock out the entire neighborhood (Westbank, New Orleans East, Lakeview, etc.).

I always need help handing out flyers and I'm still in need of a poster. If you'd like to help design a poster or wouldn't mind attaching flyers to bikes or dropping them off at businesses, that would be incredibly helpful. I can e-mail you a sheet to print yourself or give you already printed sheets and rubber bands.

Also, if you'd like to help organize the project and become more deeply involved, I will be doing a planning meeting not this coming weekend, but sometime next weekend. I was planning on doing a planning meeting/pool party...but my pool need some work so I probably won't have anyone over until then.

Monday, July 14, 2008

NolaCycle article in the Times-Picayune will be published on Thursday as the front page of the community section

If you helped out on Saturday, pick up a times Times-Picayune on Thursday - we should have a number of photos and a feature story in there.  There will also be a short video posted on that day too.  

Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is creating a statewide bike and pedestrian plan

LA DOTD is holding a number of public of meetings for their bike and ped plan.  I don't know much about the new plan, but I am planning on attending the New Orleans meeting.  I'd encourage everyone who's interested in better infrastructure for bikes and pedestrians to make it out to City Park on Tuesday July 22nd from 6 to 7:30pm.  If possible, show up on your bike too, just to drive home the fact that bikes are a major form of transportation in New Orleans.

The following is from their site:

Public Meeting for Louisiana Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan
Contact: Public Information Office, (225) 379-1232, FAX: (225) 379-1863
Monday, July 07, 2008
July 7, 2008

Contact: Brian Parsons

What: Three public meetings for the Louisiana Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan
(This is not a legal notice)

Meeting 1

When: Tuesday, July 22, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Casino Building at City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana

Meeting 2

When: Wednesday, July 23, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Broadmoor Branch Library, 1212 Captain Shreve Drive, Shreveport, Louisiana

Meeting 3

When: Thursday, July 24, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Bluebonnet Branch Library, 9200 Bluebonnet Boulevard, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Who: All interested citizens are invited and encouraged to attend.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is conducting a series of public meetings for the Louisiana Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. The purpose of the public meetings is to provide information to the public about this policy plan and to solicit feedback from the public and interested parties.

Issues to be addressed at the meetings include background information about bicycle and pedestrian planning within the transportation system, including how to address the needs of all users of the transportation system.

Representatives of DOTD and the consultant team Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc. and Toole Design Group will be at the meetings to answer questions and receive comments.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

THERE IS A TYPO ON MOST RECENT FLYERS!!! in my rush yesterday I made a pretty bad typo on the flyers.  DO NOT HAND THEM OUT!!!!  I put this weekend's dates for next weekend's mapping days.    If you need some, e-mail me and I'll send you a PDF you can print and make copies from.

Thanks for coming out yesterday! Also, some updates on the project

Thanks everyone who came out Saturday.  Hopefully we'll all be in the paper soon so we have something to send to Mom and Dad to make them proud (at least that's my plan).   I'd also like to thank Susan from the Times-Picayune for highlighting biking events in the city.  I tried to drop the names of every other bike event and group in the city, so hopefully everyone will get some press from this. 

So some things we learned:
-Off-brand plastic bags break in 30 minutes of carrying markers.  I'll go get some Zip-lock bags today
-Mapping really only takes an hour to an hour and a half tops.  
-Working with a partner goes pretty fast.  Patrick and I worked out a pretty awesome method.  Ride down the middle street on your map, then each person bikes up a down a section of cross street then decides the quality.  We did that and finished in about 45 minutes.  
-Always invite Food Not Bombs to cater your cycling events.
-Hats and sunscreen are nice.  Bottles of water are a must.  For August, we'll start mapping around 5 or 6 instead of 3 because it's cooler...but I already printed out like 180 flyers saying we're starting at 3 for the next two weeks, so I guess we're starting at 3 for the next two weeks.

Today, come on out to Jackson Sqaure to help map the French Quarter, downtown, and Treme.  We'll probably leave around 3:30, so if you weren't here yesterday and you need the mapping method explained to you, please slow up at 3. 

Saturday, July 12, 2008


A reporter for the Tim-Picayune heard about the project and she's coming to do video, photo stills, and write an article!  

Free press is so awesome.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

N.O. Sprints (indoor roller racing) tonight at Whirling Dervish

NolaBike race is hosting a gold sprints race tonight at the whirling dervish.  I haven't been to one before, but I'm going tonight.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Would you like to donate materials?

NolaCycle needs clipboards, markers, and pens. Would you like to donate some? I'll trade you for a bag of Zapp's chips! Or maybe if you're lucky I'll make you cookies.

Mapping Dates and Neighborhoods

Don't forget this weekend to come out to either Washington Park on Saturday at 3 or Jackson Square on Sunday at 3 to help collect data and learn more about the project/get involved.

Next weekend I'm planning on mapping my neck of the woods - Irish Channel/Lower Garden District. Walking around this weekend, I noticed every store on Magazine has a place for flyers or posters for community events. Flyering all up and down Magazine will be a great way to get more people involved!

Saturday 19th - 3pm at Coliseum Square by the Fountain, we'll be mapping the Lower Garden District, Irish Channel, and St. Thomas between the highway and Louisiana Street from the river up to St. Charles Ave.
Sunday 20th - 3pm at Lawrence Square (Napoleon and Magazine) by the basketball court. We'll be mapping Uptown/Riverside between Louisiana and Nashville from the River up to St. Charles.

Now...the following weekend I'd like to do Midcity or the 8th and Upper 9th Ward with the kids from Rubarb. I'll need help organizing the Midcity meet-ups though because that's a part of town I don't know as well and I'm not sure where to flyer. What's your thoughts? Where should we go next?

Monday, July 7, 2008

NolaCycle is now on Facebook

NolaCycle now also has a Facebook group.  If you're on the Facebook, you can join the "NolaCycle Community Bike Mapping Project" group. 

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I had a great time Saturday hanging out with the Rubarb kids!

Incase you haven't heard about Rubarb, it's a great organization that is running a community bike shop in the Upper 9th Ward.  They mainly focus on helping kids through earn-a-bike programs, but they can also help us big kids too.  The cool thing about the group is that they do more than just bike activities with the kids.  This weekend I helped Liz and Carl bring a group of 13 kids up to the beach at Lake Pontchartrain.  I'm pretty sunburnt and a little sore from getting beat up playing chicken in the water, but I had an awesome time.  

If you're looking for a great way to help the community and promote cycling with kids, head on up to Rubarb!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

So why make a bike map?

So I was flyering on Decatur today and this girl who was...well...really high on something asked me "why make a bike map?"  So I started to tell her how regular maps don't tell you about road conditions or travel speed that are good to know as a cyclist.  "But I know my way around the city, so who is the map for? tourists?"  I tried to explain how it would be helpful for kids, older people, people new to the city, etc.  But moral of the story - Miss Heroin made me realize I need to hammer out exactly how a bike map is going to help New Orleans.  

So, why map?  Well, in general, maps are a visual tool that help a person to gain a better understanding of an area.  When you look at a map, you can view your whole neighborhood, city, state, country, or ever the whole world.  If you're a really visual person anyway, you mike have a map of your city already ingrained in your head (my mental map of new orleans is still a little fuzzy though).  If you're like my brother, you have a GPS to tell you how to get your favorite restaurants because you probably couldn't find your way out of a paper bag.  Having a map of your city is really helpful if you're like my brother and have a hard time finding your way around.  Maps are also helpful if you send most of your time in one part of the city, but sometimes you have to travel to the other side but don't know it as well.  So, reason number one: Maps are helpful tools for finding your way around a city.

New Orleans already has a road map, but it's for cars, not cyclist.  A road map tells you the name of the road, the direction, and where the road leads.  It does not tell you travel speed, width of the lanes, or the pavement quality.  These three sets of information are very important for cyclists.  In other cities with hills, elevation would be important too.  When you're driving, you experience roads quite differently than when biking.  You might not notice how much room there is to pass if a cyclists is riding in front of you.  The road might not also seem as bumpy as if you were on a bike either.  So you might know how to get from the Bywater to Midcity in a car, but do you really know the best way to get there on a bike?  So, reason number two: Bike maps provide further information about streets for cyclists. 

You may have noticed there are a few bike route maps out there for New Orleans.  So why aren't those enough?  For one, would you recommend that all cyclists travel on St. Charles to get from downtown to Uptown?  Well, if can bike fast, then yeah, it's great.  What if you're 70 years old and you don't have quite the get up an go that you used to?  Would it be better to take a slower speed, less traveled neighborhood road?  What if you're 10 years old - you know how ten year olds like to ride, popping wheelies and being silly.  Do you think a 10 year old should be riding like a goofball all the way up Canal?  Granted, the kid needs to learn how to bike on the road eventually, but there are saver ways for him to travel from downtown to City Park than taking Canal.  St. Charles and Canal are both called out to be bike routes, but they aren't the best routes for everyone.  Plus, I use to bike St. Charles everyday and it'd be nice to mix it up sometimes.  I don't have time during my morning commute to test out every east-west road between Uptown and Downtown - but I would have time to look at a bike map to find a route.  Reason number three:  Bike maps give people choices to figure out their own bike routes that are best of them and and their style of riding.

Having a printed bike map also provides a medium for promoting safe cycling.  Maybe published bike maps also include safe biking tips (check out the Vancouver/Portland and NYC DOT maps for some really good examples) such as where to have lights and reflectors.  Also they can include diagrams of where on the road you should be biking (a lot of people in New Orleans bike against traffic instead of with it - sometimes because they like to see the cars coming, other times because they don't know bikes are considered vehicles and should ride with traffic).  The also commonly include state and local bike laws and "know your rights" sections as well incase you ever get hit or run into trouble with police (you may not belief it if you're from New Orleans, but in other cities cops love to give cyclists a hard time, and will give you a ticket for almost anything).  The final map I produce will include all of these things - safe biking tips, diagrams, laws, and rights.  Reason number four: Bike maps also provide cyclists with additional information about cycling in their city and promote safe cycling habits. 

The last reason I'm going to type out tonight is that maps are also important policy tools. I make and present maps to help push policy changes.  With a map you can show many things - where there are no sidewalks, where there is poor drainage, where protected natural habitats are.  Maps are a vital visual tool for policy making.  What the NolaCycle Bike Map will do is promote cycling in the city and show the city and state where dangerous areas are for cyclists, where the best roads are currently, and where roads need to be improved.  People could use this map to help campaign for the resurfacing of roads.  They can also use to point out where bike infrastructure  (bike lanes, shared-use paths, bike racks) should go.  Maps are also be used to help promote cycling to groups that may be turned off by it or may think all the roads in New Orleans are too narrow or too bumpy.  It can also be used to promote cycling for kids. Reason number five:  A bike map will serve as an important policy tool to promote cycling and encourage the expansion of cycling infrastructure in the city. 

So who will benefit from a bike map of New Orleans?
-Anyone who doesn't have bike routes memorized in their head for the entire city (I think that's probably a lot of us...)
-Anyone who bikes crosstown and gets bored of going the same way every time
-The elderly
-People with slow bikes who don't enjoy battling traffic while dodging potholes
-People with fast bikes who don't enjoy battling traffic while dodging potholes
-Anyone who just moved here
-People who have moved to a new neighborhood of the city they don't know as well
-Local university freshman
-People who are visiting or volunteering
-Alley Cat bike racers (this map will be the Alley Cat cheat sheet when it's finished!)

There is also an Alley Cat Race starting in Washington Park on the 12th

Heads up, kids - I just learned there will be an Alley Cat Race on the 12th also.  It will be meeting up at Washington Park at 5:30 (get there early to register, but if you help map, we'll be done right around then).  The race is at 6:00.  It's a fundraiser for Food Under Claiborne New Orleans (Under Claiborne - as in Tent City).   Not sure who's organizing this one, but you can pick up flyers at the Iron Rail or Bicycle Michael's.  

Monday, June 30, 2008

Planning Meeting

If anyone wants involved in the organization of the project, I'd like to have a planning meeting sometime soon.  Please comment or e-mail me if you'd like to be included in the meeting.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

How NolaCycle Mapping is going to work

In case you're reading this and you haven't met me and you really have no idea what's going's the jist of it:

Every weekend in summer (and hopefully fall to if I can find people to help run mapping meet ups while I'm up North), I will lead a group of volunteers to map a group of neighborhoods.  We'll meet up a public park, I'll explain the project, and then I'll send out pairs of volunteers with a black and white street map of a 5 by 10 block area.  I'll give you a clip board, some colored markers or pencils so you can record the pavement quality and width of the street (is the pavement poor, moderate, or good quality for cycling?  is the road wide enough for you and a car to travel side by side in the same lane?  Or it is narrow?).  Also I'll have to mark off any bike lanes (there's a few in the city now), shared lanes, or bike trails (Levee, Audubon, etc) in the area.  We'll meet back up at the park two hours later and I'll collect the maps and supplies from you.  Then if you have time, we can hit up happy hour at some local bar!

After the meet-up and you leave to go on with your normal life, I'll start digitally recording all the data in either GIS (geographic information systems software), or with Adobe Illustrator (that's a graphic arts program).  After we collect data for all the neighborhoods of the city and I have it all digitally recorded too, I'll start working on a final map to be published.  Hopefully, depending on how much we get down in the summer, I'll have a map ready to be printed and distributed by sometime between March and next July.  

Between now and next year when the final product is out, I'd like to get a core group of volunteers together to be a planning/advisory team.  We'll make decisions about final layout, meet-up locations, finding grants, and distribution plans.  If you'd like to be in this group, please shoot me an e-mail at  

Hope to see you sometime this summer!  Thanks!

Friday, June 27, 2008


Here's the flyer sheet you can print off and give to all your friends! You can fit about 6 of these guys on a 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper. If you want a flyer sheet, I can e-mail one to you.


Aside from just having volunteers to map on meet-up days, I will be needing help with other parts of the project. Feel free to apply for any of the positions...there really aren't any requirements...but it also doesn't pay anything. But, I can provide benefits! All work sessions can happen at my house were I have a pool. I'll let you use it if you help me out! (Who needs health care when you have a pool?)

Run meet-ups in your neighborhood
Explain project and send out people to map
Hand out flyers and hang up posters
Graphics and website
Assist in developing a real website (because I don't know how!) and help with designing
posters and flyers
Media Relations
Help get the word out to newspapers, magazines, and other blogs
Grant Research
Help me find grants to we can have someone else pay to print the final maps

Map on your own!
If you can't make it to any meet-up days, you can still help map! Tell me what neighborhood you'd like to map in, I'll send you some maps, and then I'll pick them up from you when you're done.

So, Lauren, with all these help, what are you going to be doing?
Well, a lot actually...I will run most of the meet-ups, print all the maps, buy supplies, process the data, write a big long paper of why mapping for cyclist is important and how this will help new orleans, and the value of community mapping...and, well, you get the idea. Finally, I'll produce a super sweet final map and then figure out a way to distribute it all over the city and on the web!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Flyer Idea

NolaCycle Community Bike Mapping

-Help create a comprehensive cycling map for New Orleans by mapping your neighborhood!

-Cities like NYC, Seattle, and Portland have maps especially for cyclist showing the best routes and hazards to avoid, covering the entire city. New Orleans currently only has bike route maps that cover only a few roads.

-Maps help to promote cycling and encourage safer routes.
-Meet-ups every Saturday and Sunday in summer to map the city from 3 to 5 pm!

July Meet-ups
Saturday July 12th: Marigny, Bywater, St. Roch, St. Claude – Meet at Washington Park
Sunday July 13th: French Quarter, Treme, CBD, 7th Ward – Meet at Jackson Square in front of St. Louis Cathedral
Saturday July 19th: Lower Garden District, Garden District, St. Thomas, Irish Channel – Meet at Sophie B. Wright Park (intersection of Camp and Magazine)
Sunday July 20th: Uptown (Riverside and Touro Hospital Area) – Meet at Laurence Square on Magazine and Napoleon
Saturday July 26th: Uptown (Tulane, Loyola, and Audubon Areas) – Meet at Audubon Park by playground on St. Charles
Sunday July 27th: Carrollton – Meet at Palmer Park

Bring water and a messenger bag to carry maps and a clipboard! Happy Hour will be celebrated at a local bar after each meet!

Check out for updates!