Mapping the Sprawl

I’ve been doing some armchair mapping of the West Shore area for OSM.

The whole area is a gigantic clusterfuck of sprawling housing developments and go-nowhere roads. It’s easy to get lost in there, and have your 10 mile bike ride turn into a never-ending marathon of dead end roads, cul-de-sacs, and near misses by Volvo driving soccer moms.

OSM Map West Shore area near Harrisburg, PA

Once I get it all mapped, maybe I’ll put together a “bicycling guide to the West Shore”. I know I could have used one when I started out.

10 thoughts on “Mapping the Sprawl”

  1. And those driveways which are currently marked as access=private could probably be changed to service=driveway since I would think that this would imply private access anyway. You can keep the explicit tag if you want though.

    The whole area is looking good though.

  2. A map of the West Shore would be great. Living in Beacon Hill, I feel kind of limited in where I can ride, aside from down Limekiln Road. Any guidance would be fantastic.

  3. @Dan, If you mean the Beacon Hill development in New Cumberland, you’re only about a mile or so from BikePA Route J. Just ride down to bridge street, and cross the bridge by Giant. That route will take you all the way to downtown York. It’s a tad hilly though.

    Here’s a bike map of that area.

  4. Hey, Dan. If you cross the field where the old beacon towers used to be, there’s an alley behind a few houses that leads to Beacon Hill Road. This will take you right past Hillside Elementary to Brandt. Also, if you ride to the northern loop on Drexel Place, there’s a path between two houses that leads to Harrison Drive. It’s plainly visible on Google Maps’ satellite photos. Anyway, these are a couple of easy, low traffic routes to get off Beacon Hill and into New Cumberland.

  5. Precisely. And if you scroll to the east a bit, the uppermost part of Beacon Hill Road is marked as “private access”. I’m not sure this is entirely true. The sign at the end of road says “No Vehicles Beyond This Point” or some such, though I’m thoroughly unfamiliar with OSM and wouldn’t know how else to label that part of the road.

  6. Nice work….I’ve biked through that morass and gotten lost just at the northern edge of it and elsewhere, not only because of the ridiculous street layouts but due to poor signage….see my Sep 2010 entry on that one.

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