Solving the first mile problem with low-stress bicycling routes

Authors: Micah L Brachman*, University of Maryland, Russell Provost, Montgomery Planning, David Anspacher, Montgomery Planning
Topics: Transportation Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: bicycling, active transportation, modeling, GIS
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Congressional A, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


On urban transportation networks, the "first mile" problem describes the difficulty that a user may experience getting from their home to a transportation hub. This problem is especially acute in low-density suburbs, where many homes are not within walking distance to public transit options. Bicycling is one solution to the first mile problem, but many suburban areas lack the infrastructure required to make cycling an efficient, safe, and attractive transportation option. The Level of Traffic Stress (LTS) methodology is an approach for quantifying the stress that a bicyclist may experience based on factors such as motor vehicle speed and volume, the number of lanes on a roadway, the ease of intersection crossings. In this paper, and geospatial modeling approach is introduced that fuses big data from multiple sources with LTS measurements to identify specific bicycle infrastructure improvements that could be implemented within funding constraints. This model is applied to several study areas to demonstrate how the results can inform a bicycle infrastructure planning process that helps solve the first mile problem for urban transportation users.

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