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November 13, 2020 3 min read

As the Pandemic has thrust the topic of Active Travel into the spotlight with governments and organisations across the global fast tracking cycling infrastructure plans, we at See.Sense have been involved in understanding how cyclists move around cities and the challenges they face, for years.

We have worked with cities and organisations across Europe, all of which have provided some very valuable insights. We wanted to highlight a few of the key takeaways from completed projects; 

The Gender Split, getting that equal participation is key in understanding how cyclists differ in the use of the cycling network. Unlike other crowd sourced data, the depth of the data and deployment of the project allows the city using See.Sense lights the ability to have a representative demographic profile of the cycling community.

You can read about our study in Antwerp here

Same road yet different experience, from a study in Dublin the data was able to show how differently cyclists use the same road. Female cyclists consistently favoured rougher areas of the same road than men, indicating they are cycling on the left-hand side, closer to the gutter, as opposed to the centre, where the surface is smoother. However, although female cyclists opted for the rougher parts of road overall, they swerved more than men in the same position - actively avoiding the seriously rough areas, and potholes. You can read more about our findings here.

What should be the infrastructure priority? In partnership with a world-leading engineering consultancy AECOM, we worked on the ability to show how See.Sense data could be used to inform a Quality of Service assessment for Dublin’s cycle network and AECOM found that; The data provided by the lights is a useful tool for planners to develop cycle networks and also identify maintenance priorities, with further potential to look into both quantitative and qualitative information ( in-app Surveys in the See.Sense mobile app) in regard to road user conflicts. 

^ Road surface quality 

Read more about AECOMs findings here. 

Does the infrastructure work for all cyclists? For a project in London we were able to see the impact of the different cycling infrastructure on the cyclists experience, with dedicated cycle lanes showing a much safer experience (with less swerving) than that of a shared bus/cycle lane.

Additionally in a world first, data from a public bike scheme was collected to gain insights into Belfast’s urban environment, in collaboration with Smart Belfast, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Bristol, and BT on “iPedal”. Our data was used to identify new opportunities for system expansion as well as predict bike locations in real-time and to improve redistribution efforts. Read more about this project here.

Cycling is faster and lets make it safer, as proven in the RTE Great Prime Time Transport Race with the See.Sense cyclists joining in on the race by bicycle and collecting data along the way. These empowered local cyclists act as catalysts for change by sharing their experiences of cycling in the city, with the insights generated used to direct resources and investment more effectively in Dublin's growing cycling infrastructure. You can read through the findings from the data here.

In Manchester ARUP carried out collision analysis on Manchester's A34 using See.Sense swerve and braking data. 

“In response our design has narrowed the carriageway to slow vehicle speeds and provided pedestrians priority (continuous footways) to slow turning vehicles. Moreover, we have used this analysis as part of a boarder case for implementing wider traffic management interventions to reduce the overall volume in the area” ARUP 

We have and continue to work on some exciting projects and with excellent partners.