Bicycling is a growing mode of transportation in Illinois, but data about bicycle route choice and the impact of bicycle infrastructure are scarce. Stated preference surveys, the traditional means of gathering information about cyclist behavior, are limited by small sample sizes and fail to capture differences between stated and actual behavior.
To address these limitations, communities are turning to GPS-enabled smartphones as a tool to identify the actual routes used by cyclists. Using open source applications originally developed in San Francisco, projects in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Austin and other communities have successfully identified bicycle routes and analyzed the factors that influence cyclist behavior.
The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC), in partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation, is participating in a pilot program to develop an open source smartphone application to track bicycle trips and provide information for cyclists. Initial development on the BikeMoves app is being completed by students in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois. The app will be promoted and tested in Champaign-Urbana with the goal of scaling it to the State of Illinois, and possibly beyond.