Route-tracing robot shows where bike lanes should be

Tired of having to share the road with cars while you're biking? You're not alone. The marketers at Radwende have built a route-tracing art robot to make a case for more bike lanes in Wiesbaden, a German city frequently considered hostile to pedal pushers. The machine draws the paths of riders who use Android and iPhone tracking apps during their journeys, creating a crowdsourced cycling map whose lines get bolder based on traffic. The more people travel down a given street, the clearer it is that a bike lane is necessary.

The robot is currently sitting inside of Wiesbaden's Museum of Fine Art, where it will be drawing until July 2nd. There isn't any word of Radwende taking its project on tour, but there is a way to get a map for posterity. If you're in Wiesbaden, you can buy a print for €150 ($204) or less -- the price goes down one euro for every kilometer you ride while using the app, so you have a strong motivation to get some exercise before you show up. Even if the city doesn't pay much attention to the artwork, it's visual proof that technology can solve urban planning problems.