Bikeable cities

The Changemakers Guide to Walkable & Bikeable Cities

 

“If you can change the street, you can change the world.” Janette Sadik Khan

At Miovision, our mission is to use technology to improve the transportation experience for everyone. Over the past few months, we’ve been hard at work putting together the Changemaker’s Guide to Walkable and Bikeable Cities. Why? Because we want to empower transportation professionals to transform their streets. This guide will act as a fully-stocked toolkit for transportation professionals and government officials looking to build bike-friendly and walkable cities.

It’s Time to Rethink Cities

For too long cities have prioritized cars over people. More roads, more traffic, and lower levels of health are all symptoms of the broken city. Transportation engineers are forced to use outdated metrics. Public planners are handcuffed by layers of red tape and analysis for pedestrian-friendly projects.

The change needed is already on its way. Cities across North America are recognizing that citizens of walkable and bikeable cities are healthier, wealthier and happier. We’re experiencing it first hand at Miovision, with our technology already being used for major bike lane projects.

A Call to Changemakers

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking to challenge the status quo too. Our Changemaker’s Guide will help you get there. It’s a one-stop reference point that we update regularly, packed with information including:

  1. Benefits of Walkable and Bikeable Cities
  2. Strategies to Influencing Change
  3. Planning Resources
  4. Data Collection Strategies
  5. Implementation Tips
  6. Success Stories

Get Started. Get Involved.

This movement is more than just a guide. It’s about working together to make change happen. Here are a few other ways to get started:

  1. Download our Changemaker’s Toolkit, a collection of resources and tidbits from our guide consolidated into a single PDF.
  2. Share your story and inspire others. If you’ve made your town or city more walkable or bikeable, let us know! We’ll spotlight you in our guide.

Miovision hopes this guide will support you on your journey to make a better city or town. Don’t simply be a passenger in the journey towards sustainable transportation models, make yourself a driver of change.

Help Miovision make transportation better for everyone.

Bloor Street Bike Lane Cyclist

Miovision Data and the Bloor Street Bike Lanes

A huge milestone for bicycle advocacy in Toronto was celebrated on Friday, August 12. Bicycle bells rang in the official opening of the Bloor Street Bike Lanes, a pilot project that will allow the city to demonstrate and study the impacts of adding cycle tracks along a 2.6km stretch of Bloor Street.

Bloor Street Bike Lanes Map

A map of the study locations for the Bloor Street bike lanes, from Miovision Central.

For decades, bicycle advocates have been fighting for bike lanes on Bloor Street, a major urban artery with an AADT approaching 30,000 vehicles a day. Bloor Street is home to the Bloor subway line, mixed-use commercial and residential buildings, and is a lively and iconic part of Toronto. In May, Council approved the installation of the Eastbound and Westbound cycle tracks.

Data’s role in the Bloor Street Bike Lanes Pilot

Analysis for this Pilot will be the most robust measurement and evaluation of any transportation project completed before by the city. Along with multimodal traffic data provided by Miovision, the city is working with partners to measure parking utilization, economic impacts, and safety.

The Bloor Street Bike Lanes are part of Toronto’s ten-year cycling plan to double the amount of cycling routes in Toronto by 2027. The outcome of this analysis and the decision on permanently installed cycle tracks is due in a report to council in Q3 2017.

Audio Clip: Councillor Joe Cressy on the Pilot’s Data Driven Approach
Joe Cressy announces Bloor Street bike lanes

 

Traffic Data by Miovision Donated at No Cost

Multimodal traffic data for this pilot is being donated by Miovision because we believe that cycling infrastructure is an important component of a smart(er) city. The rigorous analysis of this pilot is the perfect opportunity to partner with a forward-thinking city like Toronto. The pilot also allows us to combine efforts with the University of Toronto’s Transportation Research Institute (UTTRI) for research and development into conflict analysis and cycling safety analysis.

Cyclist on the Bloor Street bike lanes

The pilot project has removed parking from one side of Bloor Street and installed either parking protected cycle tracks or painted cycle tracks between Shaw and Avenue Road.

Multimodal data will be collected at three points during the pilot:

  • Pre-install benchmark  data was collected in June, producing 16 individual datasets along the corridor.
  • Post-install traffic data will be collected in late September during ‘average’ traffic patterns.
  • Comparison data will be collected in June 2017.

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Better Data, Better Decisions

Since this pilot is contentious with not all Council members or citizens agreeing with bike lanes on Bloor, data will play a huge role in the final decision. Whatever the outcome, we’re pleased to provide the data for this important study. Better data empowers better decisions about the places we live and a data-driven city is a smarter city.


For more on creating Bikeable and Walkable Cities, check out this guide:

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Miovision Central Collaboration

Data Driven Protected Intersection Workshop

How do we get more capacity out of our urban infrastructure? Are our roads designed for all users? Could there be a more efficient use of land that gets people where they need to go safely and efficiently?

Cities and citizens are asking these questions and demanding change, but there continues to be an ongoing modern planning problem of accommodating everyone’s needs with limited budgets and infrastructure built for cars.

Enter Mobycon, a Netherlands-based engineering and consulting firm with a North American presence. Their North American mission is to apply world-leading Dutch design to our intersections. We at Miovision are excited to partner by bringing our data collection and analysis tools to a new Masterclass first delivered on Monday June 27th in Ottawa.

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Above: Mobycon’s Johan Diepens highlights Dutch best practices in mutlimodal design.

It’s no secret that the Dutch do multimodal well. They’re arguably the world leader in multimodal design and have been practicing the discipline since the 1970’s when Dutch citizens took to the streets to protest child deaths from motorists. Along with other factors, the resulting movement caused the Netherlands to focus on alternative transportation to make cities safer and more people-friendly.

Overview of the Rethink Living Streets Masterclass

Data, Design and the Protected Intersection

Recently, we hosted 20 engineers and planners in Ottawa from various public and private organizations for an interactive one-day masterclass. The format mixed best practice presentations with group-based design and application.

intersection_critique

Above: Participants critique an intersection and provide three good and three bad qualities for presentation to the group

Mobycon’s founder and CEO Johan Diepens led the Masterclass and shared his experiences of bringing these best practices overseas. Following each presentation, attendees were assigned an exercise to apply their learnings to retrofit a local Ottawa intersection with better multimodal design. Miovision supported these efforts by providing data, video, and visuals for each of the case study intersections via Central.

Miovision_Central_workshop

Groups consult data in Miovision Central to drive their redesign recommendations.

Dutch Design and North American Intersections

Johan facilitated each design session and focused attendees on redesigning selected Ottawa intersections to incorporate multimodal lanes, signs, and striping while:

  • Minimizing points of conflict;
  • Creating 90° intersecting paths to encourage eye contact between road users;
  • Separating modes at conflict point by time or space; and,
  • Separating modes that have a large mass / speed difference.

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Johan discusses design at the roadside

Visit to Byron and Kirkwood

Participants get out of the classroom to the roadside to analyze and critique a case study intersection

Interactive Workshopping to Creatively Apply Learning

Throughout the day, participants listened to Johan and other representatives of Mobycon explain multimodal design best practices. Following each presentation, participants had the opportunity to redesign an intersection and then submit their design for feedback and questions from Johan and other participants.

Miovision Central

Consulting Central to observe multimodal data at an intersection before embarking on redesign.

In the exercises, each group of participants were provided a large detailed drawing of a typical Ottawa intersection, along with a piece of velum paper to overlay and redesign the intersection to accommodate better multimodal design.

New Cycle Tracks

Drawing a new cycle track across the Byron and Kirkwood intersection in Ottawa

Protected Intersection redesign

Explanation of the group’s redesign recommendations.

These feedback sessions were easily the highlight of the day.

Group Critique

Group critique

Modified Turbo Roundabout

Final design of a modified turbo roundabout at Carling and Kirkwood in Ottawa

Final Intersection Designs on Display

Drawings from the final group design session on display for Jeff Leiper, Ward 15 Councillor

What’s next for the Protected Intersection Masterclass?

Based on feedback and our own positive experience of the day, we want to take this class further with Mobycon and provide this curriculum to more municipalities across North America. The format of the workshop is fun and dynamic and provides planners and engineers with tangible learnings that can be immediately applied to today’s intersections.

Miovision Meets Startup Cycling

This past week, we met with Thomas and Chloe from Startup Cycling. Since 2015, they have been biking across Europe and the US, stopping in more than 15 countries, to meet with successful founders of startups across the two continents. The goal – to learn about what has driven the success of founders and startup communities like Silicon Valley and Waterloo Region, and then inspire others with those stories.

They interviewed Miovision CEO and Co-Founder, Kurtis McBride to learn more about how Miovision got to where it is today, where it’s headed and about how the Waterloo Region startup culture helped. Check out the full interview, listen to the podcast, or check out Startup Cycling’s video blog.

Podcast:

Video:

The City of Edmonton

Customer Perspective: City of Edmonton Improving Traffic Flow

Eyes on Intersections: Improving Traffic Flow

Author:
Matthew Fleet
Communications Officer at City of Edmonton
matthew.flores@edmonton.ca
November 26, 2014

Republished from City of Edmonton Communications Department

Remember the days when City staff in parked cars counted traffic movements in person, or used mechanical counters connected to rubber hoses stretching across the road?

setupThat was then, and this is now… and the comparison is like the difference between the horse-and-buggy and the hybrid car.

Five years ago, Transportation Services’ traffic monitoring group was an early adopter of a new video traffic monitoring technology called Miovision. The department’s eight-person traffic monitoring group is supervised by strategic traffic analyst Sharon Gorton and managed by Thareesh Kariyawasam.

Since then, the traffic monitoring group has boosted the amount of valuable traffic movement data it supplies its internal customers by more than 300%, and done so with an cost savings averaging 15% annually vs previous methods.

“It’s incredible what Miovision has done for our ability to help supply the traffic signals and road maintenance people with detailed information that helps them move traffic more quickly and keep roads in better physical shape,” says Thareesh Kariyawasam, Transportation’s general supervisor of Strategic Monitoring.

Miovision involves the temporary (12 to 72 hours) location at an intersection of a small video camera atop a long pole. Below is a battery and a computer which records real-time video of traffic movement.
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Cyclist image

Making American Cities Safer for Pedestrians and Cyclists

Americans are walking or cycling to their destinations with renewed enthusiasm and frequency.

Today, approximately 50% of all trips under one mile and 10% of all trips of any length are made on foot or on bike.

However, with this increase in interest has come corresponding risk: pedestrian and cyclist injuries and fatalities have climbed steadily every year since 2009. In fact, in 2012, bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities were over 16% of all traffic-related fatalities, highly disproportionate to their numbers, and primarily in urban areas.

USDOT Calls for Safer People, Safer Streets

The rise in popularity and challenges in walking and cycling are among the key trends identified by Anthony R. Foxx, Secretary of the US Department of Traffic, in his forward-looking vision of an improved transportation system for. In the DOT’s draft of Beyond Traffic 2045, they predict a significant growth in walking and cycling in the next 30 years.

They note that metropolitan areas will burgeon and be higher density. That, combined with the Millennials’ lifestyle preferences for healthier and more environmentally sound activities, raises both opportunities and alarm.

Accommodating this simple form of transportation, and doing so safely, must become “an increasingly pressing issue for policymakers, particularly in urban areas,” the document urges.

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Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Prioritized by USDOT

Last September at the Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place Conference in Pittsburgh, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced that the USDOT is rolling out their “Safer People, Safer Streets” initiative over the next 18 months.

We’re looking forward to the follow-up on this ground-breaking announcement at the National Bike Summit in a couple of weeks. We hear that Secretary Foxx will also be in attendance to hopefully update on the USDOT’s Safer People, Safer Streets initiative.

Miovision is also proud to be an exhibitor at this conference. If you’re in attendance, please come by and visit us where we’ll be talking about our latest EBook, Building a Bike-Friendly Chicago, How Video Data is Moving Chicago Forward.

The USDOT plan prioritizes pedestrian and bicycle safety for all 50 states

bike friendly fatalities

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Miovision’s Traffic Signal Survey Results Infographic

Every year since 2012, Miovision has conducted a peer-driven Traffic Signal Survey. The survey measures the current state of traffic signal maintenance and operations in North America. The question categories include: traffic data collection traffic data reporting and visualization activities software and systems traffic signal connectivity

Multi-Modal Traffic Data Collection with TERRA Engineering

On August 21, 2013, Miovision co-hosted a webinar with TERRA Engineering that highlighted their multi-modal approach to traffic data collection for engineering projects. Chris Hutchinson and Scott Presslak of TERRA reviewed six different projects that were executed in Illinois.

In this week’s blog article, we’ll summarize the six projects which were presented in the webinar and we do encourage you to view the webinar in its entirety by clicking here.

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Encouraging Cyclists in the Winter

Cities across the United States are promoting cycling as a great primary mode of transportation especially for commuting.

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