LouLoops: Improving health and strengthening cycling in Louisville through the collective power of citizen data collection.

LouLoops is at once a mobile app, promoting smart, social and safe bicycling in Louisville, and also a data collection and analysis tool, enabling more informed bike infrastructure planning by local officials.

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We know that bicycling is good for us, regular exercise by riding a bike improves our physical and mental health, and can offset damage to air quality when used as an alternative to the automobile. With LouLoops we will help make bicycling safer and more fun, while providing actionable data to local planning officials about how people ride their bikes in Louisville.
More people are becoming increasingly interested in collecting data about their health and exercise habits with their smart phones, with GPS cycling route data being an excellent example. LouLoops can be seen as sort of a civic extension to current GPS cycling apps for iPhone and Android. With LouLoops, cyclists will do much more than route tracking or calorie counting or posting a map on Facebook. Users will also be able to store and search route information in a database to be used by other cyclists, as well as by local and regional planning officials. Users will be able to search maps loaded by other users for the best recreational or commuter routes, while sharing data with local transportation planners, who can then begin analyzing the emerging data set to see where and how people are riding. Riders will also be able to notify Metro Government about road maintenance and environmental issues along the way. This sort of data will help neighborhood groups and local officials make better decisions about interventions to the built environment to support recreational and commuter cycling in Louisville.

Describe your project in one sentence.

LouLoops is at once a mobile app, promoting smart, social and safe bicycling in Louisville, and also a data collection and analysis tool, enabling more informed bike infrastructure planning by local officials.

Who is the audience for this project? How does it meet their needs?

LouLoops will be for all people in Louisville interested in optimizing their cycling experience while creating a more cycle-friendly city and providing a rich new data source for alternative transportation planning and implementation efforts. LouLoops will capitalize on current trends in collecting personal exercise data, but will also insert a civic component, where users can share and annotate their daily route maps with each other as well as local transportation planning officials. People will be able to easily search for the best bicycle routes in Louisville, whether that’s the scenic route to a local café, or the most direct route downtown. As people understand the potential for the daily bicycling data to influence implementation of bike infrastructure where they ride, we expect participation to expand dramatically. As an initial incentive, LouLoops will be downloadable for free, a worthwhile value as some popular cycling apps with only a portion of LouLoops level of functionality can sell for up to $4.99.

What does success look like?

Success will be measured by increases in the level of cycling across the community and improvements to Louisville’s bike infrastructure thanks to data collected with LouLoops. But first we must do the work in creating a strong user community. In the short term we will work with the Mayor’s Office in the promotion of LouLoops to Louisville cyclists, with strategies including promotional tie-ins with large health promotion events such as the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown, and the Mayor’s Hike, Bike, and Paddle events. We will push LouLoops in social media and demonstrate its growing functionality with groups that would find it useful, including urban planners and local government officials, but also school administrators, youth workers, and neighborhood groups who would be able to highlight the best routes to their locations and areas of operation. With help from the Mayor’s Office and/or Metro Council we hope to showcase at least one major improvement to safety or route functionality as a result of data collected via LouLoops by the end of the first year of the project.

Your Location

Louisville, Kentucky, US


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