States Incorporate More Local Bicycle Data in Transportation Studies


By Charles Pekow — One trouble with the reams of data we collect about bicycle habits is that they tend to be collected for a single purpose. Therefore, we don’t get the whole picture. So the National Cooperative Highway Research Program did a study on state data collection, Availability and Use of Pedestrian Infrastructure Data to Support Active Transportation Planning: A Synthesis of Highway Practice.

It found states varied in practices. Kentucky found that most requests for state or federal road funding included a bicycle/pedestrian component but that many of the local plans weren’t included in the state’s transportation plan. The state realized it needed better data collection and now requires all applications for transit funding explain how bicycle riders and pedestrians will be included.

The Utah Department of Transportation found it could get valuable data cheaply from bike/scooter share programs and Strava, an app for cyclists and runners.



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Charles Pekow
Charles Pekow is an award-winning Washington correspondent who has written about bicycling for years in publications such as the Washington Post, Bicycle Times, Dirt Rag, SPOKES, etc. as well as Cycling West/Cycling Utah. He also writes frequently on environmental issues and beer, among other topics. Weather permitting, you'll find him most weekends and some summer evenings astride a bicycle in a park. He is also a charter member of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.


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