Mapping the “Cleanest” Bicycle Route

With real-time data.

A bicycle superhighway in London (Photo by Matthew Black via Flickr)

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

When it comes to urban air pollution, particulate levels can change from block to block. And while those airborne pollutants affect everyone, cyclists — who travel relatively large swaths of a city while taking in cardio-level gulps of air — often find themselves on the front lines.

A new project from data specialist EarthSense Systems and mapping agency Ordnance Survey will use real-time air quality data to help bike riders in British cities find the cleanest routes, AirQualityNews.com reports.

“By making it easy for cyclists to see pollution levels before they make their journey, we can help them make better decisions about their route,” says Roland Leigh, technical director of EarthSense. “This [maximizes] the gain they are getting from the exercise whilst [minimizing] their exposure to harmful pollution.”

The data from EarthSense is available hourly, with a forecast of up to three days, the site reports. And its release will have potential beyond cyclist routes.

“The insights gained from such [modeling] can also be used by policy makers and city planners to make practical interventions around mitigating hot spots — such as traffic light phasing, coordination of [street works] or correctly maintained urban trees and hedges which can trap many harmful pollutants,” says Phillip Wyndham, strategic development manager at the Ordnance Survey.

A project conducted several years ago aimed for similar results in the U.S. In that study, an assistant professor at Columbia University placed wearable sensors on New York City bicyclists to measure their personal exposure to air pollution. One of the project’s aims was to encourage more sustainable infrastructure design, as well as showing cyclists which routes were best for their health.

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Rachel Dovey is an award-winning freelance writer and former USC Annenberg fellow living at the northern tip of California’s Bay Area. She writes about infrastructure, water and climate change and has been published by Bust, Wired, Paste, SF Weekly, the East Bay Express and the North Bay Bohemian

Follow Rachel .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tags: mappingbike safetypollution

×
Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×
×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 1064 other sustainers such as:

  • Ann at $5/Month
  • Linda at $25/Year
  • Adrian at $18.00/Month

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year magazine

has donated ! Thank you 🎉
Donate
×