Tracking bicycle commute helps transportation planners improve cycling on Central Coast

The Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments is calling on bicycle commuters to tell transportation planners how to make the tri-county region  -- of Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties -- a better place for cycling, whether its via bike routes, paths or other facilities. During Bike Week, May 9-15, AMBAG will kick-off its bicycle commute data collection effort, which will run through October. AMBAG's data collection method will rely on a tool called, “Cycle Tracks,” a free smart phone application that can be downloaded to iPhones and Androids. It was developed by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority using a grant from Caltrans. Once downloaded, data collection is as easy as hitting the app's start button on your phone at the beginning of your tip and touching “save” when you arrive at your destination. Your trip details will be uploaded into a server. By recording cycling routes and trip details using the app, the region's planners can better understand bike riders' needs. Participants may also input their personal information, including age, email, gender and their typical bike commute. Cyclists who upload at least one trip commute by June 1 will be entered into a drawing to win prizes. The first 20 people who vote on the prizes offered on AMBAG's Fabebook page will automatically be entered into the drawing. An email address will be required to enter the drawing. Funding for the Bicycle Travel Demand Modeling Tool came from the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District through AB 2766 grant funds. More information about this project is available by contacting Steph A. Nelson, associate planner for AMBAG, at snelson@ambag.org or (831) 264.5092.
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