Measuring the bikeability of an area or route is about to get a lot easier, thanks to an automated tool being developed by the University of Queensland.
The Bikeability Assessment Tool will quantify factors such as availability of cycling lanes, paths and infrastructure, traffic volumes, aesthetics, environmental conditions, and signage to measure how conducive a city, district or route is for cycling.
It will help identify areas that are under-resourced for cycling infrastructure – and those enjoying above average bikeability.
University of Queensland last year received a $135,600 grant to develop the tool, which will make it much easier and time efficient to assess and monitor planning, design, infrastructure and policy interventions as they relate to cycling.
The project team, headed by geography lecturer Dr Scott Leskie, is current conducting research to inform the tool, which is being developed through a Big Impact Projects program by Aurin, a national network of leading Australian researchers and data providers across the academic, government, and private sectors.
The tool will help enhance understanding of how to improve bikeability in both urban and natural environments, according to the Aurin website.
It will assist research on design characteristics associated with cycling — for transport, recreation and tourism.
Factors assessed by the tool include:
- Availability and quality of bicycle paths, lanes and other infrastructure
- Bicycle network and street connectivity
- Traffic volumes and speed
- Number of through lanes
- Traffic control signs and signals
- Bicyclist safety
- Comfort and convenience
- Access to important destinations
- Aesthetics, green space and water
- Environmental factors
Street scale design variables such as lane, shoulder and bicycle width, on-street parking, presence of curb, pavement condition
“Combined with AURIN’s existing walkability tool, objective and accessible bikeability measures will support multi‐modal transportation planning with a strong active transportation core,” the website says.