BikewaySim: Using Changes in Revealed Impedance to Assess Perceived Safety and Potential Benefits of New Cycling Infrastructure

This research aims to provide Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) with a tool to analyze how the implementation of bicycle infrastructure on GDOT-owned roads contributes to bikeability and reduces bicycle route impedance (i.e. the accessibility of cycling), so that alternatives that stand to have the greatest impact are prioritized. This research has five main objectives. First, the research team will conduct a comprehensive review of all route choice and user preference related literature to identify literature findings on the tradeoffs that cyclists make in the route decision making process. It is expected that these tradeoffs will be different across different studies, but there should be general trends for certain road attributes that apply across all studies. Second, the team will model cycling travel impedance as a function of road attributes based upon sets of relevant variable tradeoffs identified in the literature. In this case, cycling travel impedance will act as a perceived time cost. For example, a cyclist might be willing to extend their trip duration by five minutes for every one minute on a high-volume road with no cycling infrastructure. Once quantified, these impedance functions will be implemented as part of the BikewaySim shortest path calculator. Third, the team will use BikewaySim and its impedance functions to estimate the current distribution of route impendences from more than 2.1 million potential origin (residential parcels) to classes of activity in ARC’s-based travel demand model activity-specific destinations (grocery stores, hospitals, restaurants, job centers, etc.) using the PACE supercomputing cluster. Then the team will modify the analysis network to include proposed new cycling facilities and re-estimate the distribution of impedances to see how they changed. The team will use this change to determine the relative improvement in bikeability that a cycling facility brings. Fourth, the team will use BikewaySim and its impedance functions to model first and last mile (FLM) connections to transit by bike, to see how transit can augment bikeability, and see how improvements in bike infrastructure can increase transit access by bike and destination access by combined bike-transit mode. Bicycles are a viable FLM mode because bicycles can be parked at the transit stop or brought on board transit vehicles. The Federal Transit Administration designates a catchment area of 3.0 miles for bikes and 0.5 miles for walking. However, these catchment areas don’t take into account the perceived route impedance of cyclists. This is where BikewaySim can be applied, as catchment areas around transit stops can be re-delineated based on perceived impedance. Finally, the team will package the impedance functions and code to run analyses as an open-source Python module. This module will allow all of the work done in this project to be repeated in other study areas. It will also allow for people to contribute to the module by adding new features or improving analyses. This module will come with detailed documentation to walk users through the process on how to use BikewaySim for similar analyses.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $200000
    • Contract Numbers:

      GDOT RP 22-30

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Georgia Department of Transportation

      One Georgia Center
      600 West Peachtree Street, NW
      Atlanta, GA  United States  30308
    • Project Managers:

      Guensler, Randall

    • Performing Organizations:

      Georgia Institute of Technology

      Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
      790 Atlantic Drive
      Atlanta, GA  United States  30322
    • Principal Investigators:

      Guensler, Randall

    • Start Date: 20221017
    • Expected Completion Date: 20241017
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01861392
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Georgia Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: GDOT RP 22-30
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Oct 17 2022 5:14PM