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Bike Advocates Hone Data Tools

NextCity surveys a variety of new data-collecting technologies meant to clarify the impacts of bike and pedestrian infrastructure projects.
June 9, 2016, 10am PDT | Elana Eden
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David B. Gleason

Bike advocates rely on the Census Bureau's American Community Survey to measure demographics and trends in urban cycling. But local conclusions drawn from that big-picture data can be misleading, Next City reports, and more precise strategies are in the works—including "bike-counter totems, GPS-enabled smartphone apps and cameras that use machine learning."

One piece of hardware, Numina, can count the users of a piece of infrastructure and discern patterns in their behavior. It uses a camera programmed to recognize and count moving parts like cyclists or pedestrians.

Others, like Strava and MapMyRide, can track bike routes via GPS and smartphone apps, as well as users' demographic data.

Each approach has its advantages and shortcomings, but advocates hope that together they can contribute to a more robust understanding of the impacts of complete streets infrastructure.

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Published on Monday, June 6, 2016 in Next City
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