Welcome to Ride the City, a website that helps you find the safest bike route between any two points in New York City.
The concept is pretty simple. Just like MapQuest, Google, Microsoft, and other mapping programs, Ride the City finds the shortest distance between two points. But there are two major differences. First, RTC excludes roads that aren't meant for biking, like the BQE and the Queens Midtown tunnel. Second, RTC tries to locate routes that maximize the use of bike lanes and greenways.
Here are a few things you might be interested to know:
- It's pretty fast! Ride the City searches through more than 125,000 rows in a database of New York City streets every time you run a routing query. We use Dijkstra's shortest-path algorithm with custom weighting based on based on whether a bike lane or greenway exists on a street segment.
- RTC is only as good as the underlying data. We started from a data set with a huge number of inaccuracies, missing street segments, missing intersections, and missing bike lanes/greenways. During the past few months, we've done a lot of data cleanup, but we still have a ways to go. Like a fine wine (or a Brooks saddle), the routes RTC suggests will only improve with time.
- You can help us improve RTC's data. We designed a feedback form that interacts directly with the underlying map data. Click a street segment and you can let us know exactly what you think about it. You can tell us whether you like riding on that particular street, or whether you avoid it at all costs.
We're really excited to present RTC's beta site to the current and future bicyclists of NYC. We hope it proves useful, and we hope you'll let us know your thoughts as you use the site.