Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ECF EuroVelo Update

Please read the previous post too. Click here.

I have sent an e-mail to the ECF and asked them about the massive amount of unrealised EuroVelo routes. Their response consisted of a definition of a realised route, an explanation why some routes are called non-realised even though they meet all requirements, and an answer to my question whether they need help with putting up EU signposts.

What is the 'realised route' definition

You can call a part of a route realised if: "1. Detailed information available on any website; and  2. Signed with (at least) national signs; and  3. Minimum 50 km (meeting the first 2 criteria)." The stretches of road towards which I have pointed them DO meet all these requirements, which brings me to the next point.

Why are some routes non-realised even though they meet all of the requirements

"...we try to update our database as often as possible, but it is also possible that we missed some developments. Some of our coordinators are more responsive than others." I have already figured this one out beforehand. Maybe it sounds a bit stereotypical but some bureaucrats are ok with being lazy. I will keep an eye out for EV4 and EV6, so we can track the work being done on this project.

Why I cannot help with putting up EU signposts

Question to ECF: can I help putting up signposts?

"No...signposting is the result of a long and complex process (involving EuroVelo members but also local public authorities and/or local organizations) and according to the countries and/or regions, signs can be different. That is why this work is done by our national coordinators and/or partners."

This means that the signposting work has to be coordinated by the same non-responsive bureaucrats (see last paragraph). If you have actually cycled these routes, you will notice that the infrastructure is fine the way it is. The problem does not lie with bicycle paths not meeting requirements. The slow and tedious bureaucratic process is the cause of there not being enough signposts or the website not being updated.

How individuals and/or companies are so far up ahead of the ECF, it actually becomes embarrassing

Nowadays, most people are carrying a GPS tracker in the form of a smartphone. I did some research and found the following website: http://www.bikemap.net/

Here you can make a route and export that route as GPX file. GPX files can be imported in most GPS navigation systems (eg. an app on your Smartphone). That is just great. Not only does this program make use of national bicycle paths, it also enables you to export a GPX file. You do not even have to carry around maps and pieces of paper to navigate your way through Europe.

You can see how it works on the following pictures:
Bikemap.net wins hard
God this is so embarrassing. Look at how extensive this site is in comparison to the bureaucratic monstrosity.

Bikemap export GPS data
Even the possibility of downloading GPS data.

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