How we're actually using the roads…

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rice rocket
Participant
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Thought this was pretty cool.

New Strava Metro Feature Shows Government How Cyclists are Using City Streets

Granted Strava only captures a sub-set of cyclists, but still pretty good info.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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A subset of a subset, I would say.

“Inequity in, and as a result of, research”: @echointhecity on problems using ‘Strava users’ as proxy for ‘cyclists’

BikePortland commenter: “I find it extremely problematic that we would decide that this dataset is acceptable as a proxy for where “people” go on bicycles. The apparent completeness of the maps further marginalizes ‘invisible bicyclists’…”


Benzo
Participant
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Had a hard time finding the right link… so I’ll just get to the point and post the link for pittsburgh’s heatmap.

http://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#11/-79.83696/40.40921/gray/bike


Ted
Member
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I’m not sure what to make of this… Are more people actually biking on W Carson St than Brighton Rd?


Ted
Member
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I think this is a clear case where the “invisible cyclists” aren’t showing up, but even just among strava users this seems odd.


Ahlir
Participant
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Suffolk, Rialto, etc appear to be pretty well-traveled streets.
And there’s massive action on the hill between Duck Hollow and Swisshelm Park.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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It’s a start. Flawed, but not without some merit. We need more datasets like this that capture different subsets of the cycling population. Much of my riding, for example, can be captured from parsing data on Endomondo and MapMyRide. I’m sure that my riding alone, if added to the above map, would light up Center Avenue in West View and parts of McKnight Road.

I also have a feeling that some of this data is bogus. Looking at the Northway Mall parking lot, for example, it looks to me that someone’s device was left on while the bike was mounted on the car’s rack, parked in front of Aldi while they went grocery shopping, then moved the car over to be closer to Dick’s Sporting Goods.


Steven
Participant
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I wonder why Allegheny River Blvd is blue at its western end but turns redder in a stretch with no intersections. Do Verona residents ride toward Highland Park but turn around shortly before they get there? Or perhaps the lines get redder where cyclists go slower.

It also looks like some people ride inside Monroeville Mall.


Mikhail
Member
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I’m not sure what to make of this… Are more people actually biking on W Carson St than Brighton Rd?

You probably do not consider club rides on W.Carson-51-Neville. Just PMTCC could easily add up to 50 people per week coming through.

PS Is it me or everybody else has the same problem with “Quote” button showing exactly as “#”? And it does not quote anymore.


Mikhail
Member
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Suffolk, Rialto, etc appear to be pretty well-traveled streets.
And there’s massive action on the hill between Duck Hollow and Swisshelm Park.

Again, TDC ahs a ride down Suffolk and sometimes as many as 70 people ride together.


rice rocket
Participant
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Thanks for finding the link, Benzo. The text said it was reserved for bike advocacy groups so I didn’t dig any further for a public link.

Guys, the point is to not look at EVERY data point. It’s a heat map. Use it as such.

Put on yellow mode, it’ll help some of you stop fixating on minor data points.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I don’t understand the distinction between modes, but yellow mode does make a few things stand out. CCAC North looks like either a starting point or destination: lots of travel south, but drops off markedly to the north. The hiking trails south of Carson Middle School on Cumberland Road look like they get some use. And I’m surprised the heat isn’t higher on the circuit around North Park Lake.


Benzo
Participant
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Actually, the link I posted is not the exact same as the metro heat map. This is a lower resolution version that may not aggregate as much data as the metro data, however it is still useful.


Marko82
Participant
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I like the heat map, but it does seem to be slanted towards a more club/roadie profile which makes sense since they are more likely to be using Strava than someone just riding to the store. But it’s an interesting picture of where cyclist feel comfortable riding, and what crappy roads they ride in order to get to the comfortable riding.


Ahlir
Participant
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The heat at intersections might be due to waiting for a light, if the app samples GPS at a constant rate. If it were simply additive from two streets crossing then it shouldn’t bleed out along the streets (say caused by waiting in traffic or just slowing down).

This is sort of supported by the traces through Allegheny Cemetery, if most people do what I do which is go downhill on the eastern side and uphill on the western side.

But anyway, off to do stuff…


rice rocket
Participant
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Stu, the yellow just has a wider color range, green/yellow/red is easier to decipher than light blue/red/more red.


Mikhail
Member
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I like the heat map, but it does seem to be slanted towards a more club/roadie profile which makes sense since they are more likely to be using Strava than someone just riding to the store. But it’s an interesting picture of where cyclist feel comfortable riding, and what crappy roads they ride in order to get to the comfortable riding.

Exactly. I know at least 5 people in PMTCC who uploads to Strava either every ride automatically or later from Garmin Connect. And there are a lot of people like this on TeamDecaf rides. Fast PMTCC group (around 6-8 people) almost all have accounts on Strava. They ride separatly, much faster, and they do much more hills. A/B riders of WPW are the same.


stefb
Participant
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Mikhail, I am gonna derail this thread a bit. I saw a group of (I am pretty sure) major taylors riding on 65 inbound yesterday, just after they turned off of the McKees rocks bridge (I was driving outbound to visit family). I know that cyclists are technically allowed to ride that road, but it is a huge deterrent for me. The ride to Big Bang on a Saturday a few months ago just made riding with that group unappealing. It seems like there are better roads that could be taken instead of the ohshitiamgonnadie roads. But that could account for some questionable roads showing up on the map as being used.


Mikhail
Member
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We occasionally take this one mile stretch to get to Beaver or to California when we out of time. Yesterday 5 of us took it around 1pm.

PS Probably my tolerance level is very high but I never considered that stretch as ohshitiamgonnadie. :)


jonawebb
Participant
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Reminds me — somebody who worked on the Emsworth Dam says that would be a great, safe way to get to Neville Island, if the Corps of Engineers could be persuaded to open the pedestrian walkway.


Pierce
Participant
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“The ride to Big Bang on a Saturday”

Did they take bad roads that day? Which ones?


stefb
Participant
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I believe it was 885. It is a climb to get there, traffic flies, and there are lots of stores people are trying to pull into/out of


Marko82
Participant
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^ Sorry for adding to the tangent, but I agree with Stef that the big bang ride was questionable. We were using the left lane off of the bridge when we should not have been, etc. – and as a general statement we were not being very predictable to the motorists around us. I’ve ridden 885 several dozens of times and it can be done safely, it just wasnt on this particular ride.

Also, I think being unpredictable is the most dangerous thing you can do on a bike regardless of where you are riding.


reddan
Keymaster
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Also, I think being unpredictable is the most dangerous thing you can do on a bikethe road regardless of wherewhat you are riding.

IMO, anyway.


Mikhail
Member
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We were using the left lane off of the bridge when we should not have been, etc

Now you make me “scratching my head”. :) Did I mess something? What ride? What bridge?


Marko82
Participant
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It was a Jan/Feb mystery ride to Big Bang bike shop. As we crossed to the south end of the Glenwood bridge we got into the left lane and stayed there all the way until we got to the traffic light where that closed school is. It was made even worse since quite a few of the riders were hugging the left curb instead of taking the middle of the lane & we were pretty spread out instead of riding as a compact group so cars didnt know how to pass or what to do. http://goo.gl/maps/S7qbz

It would have been much safer to take the first exit after the bridge and loop under the road and wiggle up to the intersection near the closed school – which is how how we did the return trip. Or, we should have stayed in the right lane until we were closer (within sight) to where we needed to merge into the left lane to stay on 885.

It was a very intense two minutes that didnt need to be.

Note: I really enjoy riding on most group rides, including PMTCC rides, and dont want to sound too critical – leading rides can be tough. I’m also sure that if we ever do this ride again it will be done differently through this stretch.


Mikhail
Member
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Well, I rode 885 up and down many times without a problem. I do not consider it as a really dangerous road. I agree that “left lane behavior” is a little bit out of “wack” though.


Pierce
Participant
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Ah, using the left lane does sound weird. I’ve been traversing that stretch of road since around 2008 going to work, which is why I was curious. I usually take the first “exit” off of 885 from the bridge though, which swings around under 885 and then reconnects with it a little further up. (But that could be a habit from when they were working on the overpass) On the road up to Big Bang, I just take the shoulder, which is decent enough and I can only recall a few times where people have gotten too close to me.

I usually have more problems going downhill which is one lane for most of the way and idiots try and pass me even when I’m taking the lane and going around 40mph


rgrasmus
Member
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Not sure if this is something more widespread but I noticed one of those traffic counting tubes (http://www.jamartech.com/H04000.html) on the Eliza Furnace trailhead near Second Ave & Swinburne yesterday afternoon.


mattjackets
Member
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The tube was relocated recently as well, it was at the other end of the trail for at least a week. I think they’re trying to measure traffic between down town to/from the south side, down town to/from the trail head, and south side to/from the trail head.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Paging @swalfoort, who usually knows what’s up with counts like these.


Ahlir
Participant
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saw it yesterday. was sorely tempted to ride over it a bunch of times…


mattjackets
Member
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Well, now there’s one at each end! It’s strangely satisfying to know my bike is being counted every day :)

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