As you may already know, QR (Quick Response) Codes can quickly lead anyone with a smartphone or other equally intelligent device to any website page it's been assigned to. What you may not know is how one clever Southern California beach town is planning to implement their use ... for cyclists!
San Clemente, California, has applied to the Orange County Transportation Authority for a $176,000 grant to provide bicycle parking and new bike route signs. The Pacific Coast Bicycle Route that runs through the town is travelled by literally hundreds of cyclists each day, connecting them with beautiful coastal views and a near-perfect year-round riding environment. The proposed new signs would direct cyclists along the route as they currently do, but in addition they would be equipped with QR Codes to provide programmed information to the cyclist, based on the exact geographic location of the sign scanned. Information could promote local events and businesses, as well as provide maps and directions to nearby restaurants, bike shops, and beaches.
Local residents Brenda Miller and Barrry Wood have put together a group called PEDal, San Clemente's Non-Motorized Transportation Committee to promote walking and bicycling, and operate a website (http://myfeetfirst.org/) with a host of wonderful news and information for San Clemente's Complete Streets advocacy. They have added a new page (http://myfeetfirst.org/wayfinding.php) that describes how the QR Code-linked signs would work, along with a sample page for a specific in-town sign location, showing what the website might display if a cyclist scanned the QR Code on that sign.
Tom Frank, San Clemente's transportation engineering manager, said city staff developed the grant application in concert with the Orange County Bicycle Coalition and PEDal, as part of the city's Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. Nice to see signs taking front and center stage!
Isn't it great to see this new technology being put to work to enhance an entire community? What other ideas are out there for QR Code applications?
Until next time, be your own yardstick ;)