Bicycle mapping

Yesterday was a busy session, but not busy enough to stop us from looking at some very useful cycling maps. The best of  bike maps in the UK at present is CycleStreets.net, which is linked to the fantastic cycle campaigner resource CycleScape.

The former is very useful for route planning (e.g. check out the route I took from Sheffield to Manchester, planned partly on CycleStreets, partly with Google), the latter is good for reporting issues to help local cycle campaigns prioritise their time.

In this post I want to draw attention to two other maps, however: the online “have your say” map of the City Connect project, where cyclists get to say what they most want from millions of pounds to be spent on cycling infrastructure in and around Leeds, and a map of cycle accidents.

The “have your say” map was not, at the time of posting, operational. But it should be up and running soon, allowing cyclists from all over to tell the Council exactly what we want, hopefully making the transport planning process more democratic.

The second map is of bike accidents in across the UK – again from the CycleStreets.net team. Zoom into Leeds and you will see evidence of accident hotspots along Kirkstall Road and Headingly road. Take care in these areas!

As part of my job at the University, I’ve started a project that aims to compare such accident data with ‘perceived risk’ data: where people feel unsafe on a bike. Can people predict where accidents are going to happen? I don’t know, but if it could be shown there is a link between between perceived risk and ‘actual’ risk, this would be very useful indeed. So I’ve imported the data onto a map of my own and am preparing analysis to compare this with perceived risk data that Ian Kellar will be collecting in Bradford (more on this here).

In the long run I would love to create an online tool that would allow anyone to communicate where they feel most at risk, and where better cycle paths are needed. I’m not sure whether this is best done through the CycleScape system or whether it’s worth setting up our own interface. Any comments welcome, and if interested watch this space, the project’s online home. But for now, sit back and enjoy a mini map of the accidents involving cyclists in Leeds:

Map of bike crashes in Leeds

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About robinlovelace

It's time to understand the world.
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