Could big data unlock safer commutes for cyclists?

“Excuse us, there’s a lot of us,” said Rick Turnbill as he and a dozen other cyclists weave through cars and pedestrians in downtown San Antonio. “Who else can ride around the Alamo on their weekly ride?” asked Turnbill.

While he loves this route, Turnbill said the city needs more bike infrastructure to protect cyclists from motorists. Cities across the country are struggling to keep roads safe for bikes as cycling becomes more and more popular for commuting and recreation. Planners are turning to big data for solutions. Georgia Institute of Technology professor Steven French said the hope is to help chart the path forward on bike infrastructure for city planners.The answers I most often get are “Nobody” or “I don’t know.” When I do get a name, it often differs depending on who I asked—a marketing executive points to one person, while finance identifies someone else. That isn’t good. How can analytics become a strategic, core component of an organization if there is no clear owner and leader for analytics at the corporate level?

Author: Paul Flahive


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