With many New Jersey residents turning to bikes for some (or all) of their commutes, an innovative project in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area could help make cycling-to-transit trips better. A new tool—developed by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Open Plans, and several South Jersey/Philadelphia-area planning and transit agencies—crowdsources bike infrastructure demand, giving area residents the ability to provide input on which subway, light rail, and commuter rail stations need better bicycle accommodations (crowdsourcing spreads data collection, or other tasks, out among a large group of people, rather than placing the burden on a single person or organization). It’s as easy as clicking on a station and answering a few simple questions. This data will allow local transit agencies to learn from everyday riders where investment in bicycle facilities is needed, and exactly what types of improvements the public is looking for.
As cycling becomes more popular and municipalities across New Jersey commit to complete streets, the importance of accommodating cyclists at transit stations can’t be underestimated. If cyclists know that they can ride to the train safely and feel secure leaving bikes at the station, they will be more likely to leave their cars at home, which will help reduce overall automobile traffic congestion. This new tool will help make that concept a reality: click here help identify cycling infrastructure needs near transit stations! Hurry, though—the map will only be available until December 1!
Transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, and departments of transportation should take note of this example and monitor its progress—crowdsourcing could help them make smarter investments of all kinds.