The urban bike magazine

How to analyse bike data for urban planning?

The recently launched GPS data analysis tool, Bike Citizens Analytics, developed in cooperation with NHTV Breda, will enhance the way how we use bike data for urban planning. To understand the benefits of Bike Citizens Analytics, we came up with three use cases, that simplify traffic situations.

Simone Feigl
Growing up in a household without owing a private car, Simone soon became a all-weather-cyclist. As Communications and Market Development Manager she shares her passion for cycling with the Bike Citizens community.
Graphic © Bike Citizens, OpenStreetMap contributors, Mapbox

USE CASE 1: Waiting time due to traffic light

Traffic situation:
A cycle path (north-south)  is situated parallel to a park and turns right at the crossroads. About 200 meters in front of the crossroads there is a path (open for people cycling) through the park that connects to the west-east route of the street.

Problem:
People cycling use the path through the park even though the surface of the street would be better and safer (especially in winter, autumn and on rainy days).

Question:
Do  people  prefer the path through the park? And if so,  why are they using the  path with the unpaved surface?

Solution: Bike Citizens Analytics
Bike Citizens Analytics [Intensity – Heatmap] shows the uncomfortable short cut and how many people are using it. The analysis with Bike Citizens Analytics makes clear that the amount of people cycling using the short cut equals the amount of people using the cycle path. So yes, about 50 % prefer the uncomfortable path. Why?
Bike Citizens Analytics [Speed – Delay] shows a big red circle at the crossroad. There obviously occur long waiting times. To findreasons for those waiting times you have to take a look at the real situation in the field: There is a non optimized traffic light, forcing people who cycle, to wait longer than is accepted. *

Solution in the field:*
Optimize the traffic light (with possible dependences to other traffic lights) to steer the whole traffic in a smoother way.

USE CASE 2: New cycle path

bike data analysis urban planning

Graphic © Bike Citizens, OpenStreetMap contributors, Mapbox

Traffic situation:
A new 500m long cycle path was implemented in south-north direction along a street with lots of traffic. The path is separated from the street by bushes and other plants. After 500m going north there is an intersection where only turning left is allowed. Straight ahead there is a one-way direction south.

Problem:
The new cycle path is criticized by public due to high costs and low acceptance of people cycling. It is said, that the cycle path was produced just for image reasons of the mayor.

Question:
Is it real, that people cycling do not use the new cycle path? And if, why aren’ t they using the path?

Solution: Bike Citizens Analytics
Bike Citizens Analytics [Intensity – Heatmap] shows that, indeed, only a small amount of people use the cycle path. Why?
Bike Citizens Analytics [Speed – Delay] shows that there is a big delay for people cycling, when they want to turn left onto the street, because the motorised traffic on the street has priority.
Bike Citizens Analytics [Attractivity – Preferred] also shows that there is a street with trees parallel to the cycle path that is preferred by people cycling compared to the new cycle path. Further, Bike Citizens Analytics [Routes – Destination] explains, that most cyclists coming from south east use this alternative route using the street with trees.

Solution in the field:
Taking a look at the field, it becomes clear, that the alternative route provides less turns at intersections. Also, one part of the alternative route is a quite silent street with trees. Opening the one-way for people cycling reduces the turns at intersections. And would make the cycle path more attractive. Also, an extension of the cycle path would persuade people cycling to use the cycle path and also provide a more comfortable routing through the city.

USE CASE 3: Gap closure in bicycle pathway network

bike data traffic planning

Graphic © Bike Citizens, OpenStreetMap contributors, Mapbox

Traffic situation:
Along a busy street there is a new big 2-directions cycle path.

Problem:

Along a busy street there is a new big 2-directions cycle path. Since the city has a traffic goal to reduce traffic emissions by a shift in modal split from motorized individual traffic to public transport and cycling, they used the construction work of the cycle path as chance for a change in mobility behavior of the traffic participants: They had huge awareness rising campaigns to promote cycling to get an habituations effect. Aim: People also should continue to cycle after the construction work was finished. How can the effect of the new cycle path and the awareness rising campaign be measured.

Question:
Was the campaign successful? Are there more people cycling on the cycle path now as were before on the street? Where do they come from? Is there need to optimize routes they come from?

Solution: Bike Citizens Analytics
Bike Citizens Analytics [Multimap] compares two different data sets (e. g. two different time periods) and therefore shows the impact of the awareness rising campaign.
Bike Citizens Analytics [Routes -detail routes] shows where the people, that cycle on this very segment, are coming from and heading to.

 

What is Bike Citizens Analytics?

Bike Citizens Analytics is a interactive GPS data analysis tool for analysing, simulating and evaluating bike data for future measures, developed in cooperation with the NHTV University in Breda. Bike data generated with the Bike Citizens App can be loaded into the tool and processed. Besides that, external data (bike data, public transport, …) can be complemented for simulation and evaluation. It is available in over 350 cities worldwide and a free demo version is available upon request for city planners, traffic experts and municipalities at info@bikecitizens.net. The visual representation of the cycle traffic in Graz is presenting some features of the tool.

Simone Feigl
Growing up in a household without owing a private car, Simone soon became a all-weather-cyclist. As Communications and Market Development Manager she shares her passion for cycling with the Bike Citizens community.

Leave a Reply

Interested in our Magazine?
Browse through it now