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March 16, 2022 3 min read

Downtown Denver Partnership

For city and transport planners, in order to effectively plan for cycle infrastructure and cycle networks, it is vital to possess detailed and comprehensive data sets. Yet, this data is not always readily available. See.Sense data insights offer an additional layer of data that can empower planners, consultants and engineers to make informed plans and policy decisions. 

Through our work in Denver with the Downtown Denver Partnership, we are displaying how See.Sense data insights can be used to inform cycle network planning and improve cyclist safety. Denver, like many cities across the world, is pushing to add 125 miles of bikeways to its cycling network. To do this effectively the city is seeking to understand how everyday cyclists are using the streets. 

The Denver Smart Cycling project is currently ongoing, running over the course of 12 months from April 2021 to April 2022, and is being facilitated by the Downtown Denver Partnership with support from the City & County of Denver, the Gates Corporation and Bicycle Colorado. The Denver Smart Cycling Project is the first-ever cycling safety data project using See.Sense technology in the United States.

The study aims to use See.Sense data insights to assess the safety and connectivity of Denver’s cycling network, and seeks to learn more about how the cycling network functions for daily cyclists. Data from the project will be shared with the city to gain a better understanding of the conditions faced by cyclists, so that improvements can be made to existing cycle infrastructure, and future projects can be implemented more effectively.

A primary aim of the Smart Cycling project is also to ensure that the data collected is representative of all riders. Andrew Iltis, the Senior Manager of Mobility and Transportation of the Downtown Denver Partnership, states,

"a key objective of this study is to get broad representation of cyclists into the study. Cycling is an affordable and healthy mobility option for so many people, so we are going to work really hard to make sure this project is inclusive of our lower-income neighbourhoods and communities of colour so we can truly assess how the cycling network is serving everyone."

As outlined by Kyle Wagenschutz, vice president of local innovation for People for Bikes from People for Bikes:  

“What this study basically allows us to do is, by looking at the behaviour of existing riders, we can understand where the areas that need improvements are.”

Through this project, 300 local cyclists in Denver were selected to collect data in return for a subsidised See.Sense light. See.Sense lights contain patented, AI-enabled sensor technology that monitors the rider's environment up to 800 times per second. This provides highly granular anonymised insights into the rider's experience, including braking, swerving, collisions, and road surface conditions. Reports can also be manually submitted through the See.Sense app, enabling users to pinpoint and explain any problems experienced. 

Analysis of this data can not only assess route popularity and effectiveness, but potential collision black-spots can also be identified through areas with high levels of braking and swerving incidents. This provides Denver with an opportunity to understand where cycling safety is an issue before a crash occurs. This early detection is vital to helping to achieve the Vision Zero aim of eliminating all road traffic fatalities and serious injuries. 

Route popularity in Denver

Results so far: 

  • Selected cyclists have been responsible for the collection of nearly 500 million sensor readings, covering 12,000 miles of streets and multi-use trails.
  • Early trends in the data have begun to emerge. Using route popularity, a picture of where cyclists are cycling across Denver is emerging, as seen in the image above.
  • It has been identified that existing conditions of the street are impacting cycling conditions along certain routes. There are noticeable differences in cyclists swerving and braking more where there are rough road surfaces. 
  • The project has received coverage from publications including ‘The Denver Business Journal’ and CBSLocal Denver

As the project progresses, further analysis of cycling in Denver will be undertaken. Analysis of safety around bicycle facility types, delay at intersections, and corridor speeds will be conducted as more data is collected.   

You can read the preliminary report of findings so far by the Downtown Denver Partnership here

 

To find out how See.Sense technology and data services can help with your net zero and and network usage insights please email team@seesence.cc and a member of our team will be in touch.



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Irene McAleese
Irene McAleese