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Providing Cyclists with Crowdsourced Bike Safety Information

Develop a system that will gather and recommend safe biking routes to (novice) city cyclists.

Photo of Kostas Pelechrinis
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One of the biggest obstacles to people considering biking as an option is the lack of dedicated biking infrastructure and the perception of safety when cars and bikes share the street. Through a web-based application, bikers will be asked to compare the images of two different streets in Pittsburgh (obtained from Google Street View) with regards to various aspects such as bike safety (e.g., which of the two streets is/looks safer to bike on? which of the two streets would you rather bike on? which of the two streets makes you feel happier? etc.). 

Once we collect these pairwise comparisons we will built a ranking scheme that can be used to drive recommendations of "safe" paths for cycling. 

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

This system will be used from cyclists (mainly novice, with the hope of transforming them to regular cyclists). The framework is generic enough to be used for other purposes as well (e.g., through different questions).

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

We are part of the University of Pittsburgh, School of Computing and Information.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $25,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

The challenge funding will be used to fund a student for helping develop the web application and backend server. We will also provide cost-sharing and the infrastructure to host the application.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

A straightforward metric for evaluating the project is the visitation and usage of the app. In particular, we will also have an (optional) questionnaire for users in order to understand whether the website helped them overcome any doubts and start cycling. Indirect metrics can also be total cycling trips in the city (e.g., bike sharing -- since I would expect this to be the first effort from novice urban cyclists). To this end we will try to partner with HealthyRide (which are already our partners in other projects) to perform a more detailed evaluation.

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Photo of KatieWalsh 100
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Hi - thanks for this idea post - I'm considering featuring it in our newsletter this week - so I'm going to source a picture for it and upload it - do not be alarmed! Katie, Facilitator
Image: Photo by André Branco on Unsplash

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