Ben Jestico and Trisylan Nelson are part of the UVic team behind Bike Maps (bikemaps.org)

Ben Jestico and Trisylan Nelson are part of the UVic team behind Bike Maps (bikemaps.org)

UVic cycling project goes global

Bike Maps has already drawn 9,500 online visitors and reports of 466 cycling incidents in its first month of operation

  • Nov. 18, 2014 10:00 a.m.

Researchers behind a new interactive online map that tracks cycling crash hotspots and near-misses are anticipating the project will soon spread to cities across the world.

Bike Maps (bikemaps.org) has already drawn 9,500 online visitors and reports of 466 cycling incidents in its first month of operation, said University of Victoria associate professor Trisalyn Nelson, who created the project with a small team in the Spatial Pattern Analysis and Research geography lab.

“We already have people entering data from nine different countries without any promotion,” Nelson said. “This is the launch site.”

The idea started with Nelson, who commutes by bike to UVic. Her kids, three and six years old, are following suit as little commuters of their own, which inspired Nelson to take cycling safety analysis to the next level.

“I originally thought about a site where you could rant about a near-miss and community cycling hazards, but that wasn’t enough. The planning community wants to increase ridership, and safety is a No. 1 concern,” she said.

Bike Map’s main feature is collecting reports of cycling-involved crashes, fusing data from ICBC, the Victoria Police Department and the public, who are invited to submit their own experiences. Researchers are keeping the emphasis on Greater Victoria for now.

“What we’re seeing is there are hotspots of bike incidents around the city that wouldn’t have shown up using strictly ICBC data because they’re not vehicle-related and therefore don’t result in claims,” Nelson said.

As of last week, Bike Maps’ four categories included 115 collisions, 175 near misses, 131 hazards and 45 bike thefts. Hazards refer to potholes, narrow intersections or other road dangers while near-misses and collisions include those with another bike or pedestrian.

Users can register their riding area and receive tailored monthly updates. A smart phone app is scheduled for the spring, and cyclists will be able to use it in real time.

“You would get real time alerts with the phone, you could even change your route based on them,” Nelson said.

Building the site was tasked to fourth-year undergraduate Taylor Denouden, who spent the summer putting in the work. Now that Bike Maps is live, SPAR masters student Ben Jestico is continuing his graduate work to study predictors of cycling safety. A fourth member, Karen Laberee, is in charge of publicity. Nelson says the eventual trove of cycling data collected through Bike Maps will be useful not only to cyclists, but to police and other academic researchers.

“Our message has mostly been around safety, but including the incidents of bike theft made sense. There is bike theft (in Greater Victoria) and with Bike Maps, we’ll see it in clusters of place and time.”

See more at bikemaps.org.

The project was funded by the Canadian Automobile Association and the Capital Regional District.

 

editor@oakbaynews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

Police monitor protesters at a blockade in the Fairy Creek area of southwestern Vancouver Island on Wednesday, June 9. (Facebook photo)
8 old-growth logging protesters arrested in Fairy Creek watershed Friday

A total of 214 people have been arrested as of June 11

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read