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Open Access Publications from the University of California

BikewaySim and Complete Paths Networks are Expected to Improve Modeling of Bicycle Activity and Route Choice

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Many cities are focused on increasing bicycle use through development of infrastructure such as bicycle lanes and multi-use paths. Traditionally, travel demand models (TDMs) are used to evaluate the demand for (and impact of) proposed transportation projects. However, the vast majority of TDMs cannot be used to evaluate the impact of bicycle projects. Improved TDMs are needed to help estimate the impacts of new bicycle projects on cycling activity and prioritize the construction of the most beneficial bicycle projects with limited transportation department resources.

To more accurately model bicycle travel, preference-based route assignments are needed. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology created a semi-automated process for developing an all-streets network to be used in TDM applications. The researchers combined detailed roadway characteristic information from three different transportation networks in GIS shapefile format and used BikewaySim, Georgia Tech’s newly developed shortest-path calculator for cycling trips, to compare shortest-path routing on the newly created all-streets network versus the simplified TDM network for a 12-square-mile study area in Atlanta. 

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