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Bike App Boosts Planning For Path Improvements, New Trails

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Twin Cities is known as one of the most bike-friendly areas in the country. But there’s always room for improvement, right?

A new cell-phone app, available for free for Droid and iPhones, is helping bike-route planners by tracking cyclists’ moves.

With hundreds of miles of paths and trails, riders have countless options, which comes with its own challenges.

“One problem we have in bicycle planning is we don’t have quite the same robust data that we have for automobiles and transit,” said Senior Transportation Planner James Andrew.

That’s where the new CycleTracks app comes in.

“It shows the path I choose to take,” Andrew said.

Recently launched by the Metropolitan Council, the app uses the smartphone’s GPS to track each ride.

It was a big draw for Geneva Lloyd.

“It’s for personal use, to know where I’ve been and how much I’ve been biking,” Lloyd said. “I think it’s fun to keep track of that stuff.”

At the same time it’s sending that information to the Met Council, which uses the route data for future planning — everything from path improvements to new trails.

“If you’re a cyclist, it’s in your interest to help us do that so we can better understand bicycle travel,” Andrew said.

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