New navigation tool that helps bicyclists find best routes is coming to Philadelphia region

By Holly Herman

The Pottstown Mercury

Bicyclists who are little hesitant about driving in traffic will soon have a new text-message based route tool to navigate a safer ride.


The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission provided a sneak preview Monday afternoon on a Zoom meeting of a new navigation tool that can be used on a smartphone to help bicyclists find the best route to travel with the least amount of traffic.


The details of the new route will be unveiled on May 3.


The app, Ruti, is designed to find the safest route for biking in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, Bucks and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania, and Camden, Gloucester, Burlington, and Mercer counties in New Jersey.


The new app can be helpful for Berks Countians riding to Philadelphia or surrounding counties.


It provides riders with instant information on road conditions regarding terrain and whether there are biking lanes.


Michael Golembiewski, a Berks County transportation planner who listened to the Zoom presentation, said it takes a lot of time and personnel to develop the data necessary for the tool.


Golembiewski, who rides his bike daily from northeast Reading to his office in the Berks County Services Center, said he looks forward to trying the new app.


He said it’s not feasible for the Berks planning commission at this time to develop an app because it takes a larger staff and time to collect and store the data.


Cassidy Boulan, a Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission senior transportation planner, said about a half-dozen planners worked on the project.


The bike route app will communicate with the rider through text messages.


"People who want to take a trip by bike, but may not feel confident will be interested in using this," Boulan said.


Ruti can also be used as a trip-planning tool, Boulan said.


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