Friday, October 12, 2012

City, Georgia Tech roll out CycleAtlanta bicycling app

Posted By on Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM

New app allows bicyclists to communicate route info directly to city planners
  • CycleAtlanta
  • New free app allows bicyclists to communicate route info directly to city planners
In addition to kicking its heels about new bike lanes near Tech Square and hosting a Bike Expo at City Hall (it ends at 4 p.m.), the city today unveiled CycleAtlanta, a free smartphone app that allows users to record bicycle trips, display ride maps, and, according to developers, "help transportation planners make Atlanta a better place to bike."

Designed by Georgia Tech with the help of the city's Planning & Community Development department, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, and Atlanta Regional Commission, the tool will allow bicyclists to map their routes and, perhaps most interestingly, confidentially transmit route information and comments to city planners. That will help inform city officials when they make strategic decisions about where to focus investments in future bike facilities. The project was funded by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and the Atlanta Regional Commission's Livable Centers Initiative planning program.

So sayeth the description on the Apple Store (it's also available on Android):

Do you bike occasionally for fun or exercise? Are you an avid cyclist who bikes to work everyday? Are you interested in helping to make Atlanta a more bike-friendly city? Then Cycle Atlanta is for you. Cycle Atlanta tracks your ride using the GPS on your iPhone. At the end of each trip, data representing your trip purpose, route, and the date and time are confidentially sent to researchers at Georgia Tech and planners at the City of Atlanta. You’ll be helping Atlanta’s transportation planners better understand the needs of cyclists—and you’ll get to see maps and statistics of your rides.

The official website notes that the app, which is based on San Francisco's CityTracks app, is an "ongoing project" and that it focuses on collecting data in a specific area seen here. (We'd heard whispers that a future version might allow users to tap their phones to note obstacles or hazards — say potholes or sewer grates sticking out of the ground — that they encountered while riding.)

We were unable to swing by the city's official announcement, which should be taking place right about now. We'll update if we hear more info. In the meantime, download 'em, use 'em, and critique 'em so developers can improve 'em. And more of this, pretty please.

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