The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and a research lab at Portland State University just announced “Orcycle” a smartphone app billed as a way for bicycle riders to share “valuable information” with the agency.
Here’s more from an ODOT press release that just hit our inbox:
Gathering valuable data about how bicyclists use the transportation system has always been a challenge. Starting Nov. 10, a new Smartphone app created by the Transportation Technology and People (TTP) lab at Portland State University, in partnership with ODOT, will provide data that can help planners and others make decisions based on users’ feedback and facts never before gathered in one place. The goal of the app, called ORcycle, is to get cycling data from people who ride bicycles voluntarily contributing via their Smartphone, from anywhere in the state.
The app allows you to record trips, display maps of the rides, and input feedback about collisions and safety issues. The data will then go to transportation planners to help them make decisions.
“Prior to Orcycle,” the statement continues, “there was no systematic way to receive feedback regarding bicycle route safety or riders’ comfort level with bike lanes, routes, signals, etc.”
The data will be made available to transportation planner across the state who will then, “be able to access the aggregated data to better design, build or upgrade bicycle facilities and other bicycle-related projects.”
The new app was developed by noted PSU researcher and professor Miguel Figliozzi, whose previous bike-related research has been featured on BikePortland.
To thwart privacy concerns, the app does not ask for a name or address and you can change the privacy settings to limit what type of data it records. No word on how this is — or isn’t — related to ODOT’s purchase of data from GPS-tracking app giant Strava back in May.