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CycleTracks Austin project wins 2011 Women’s Transportation Seminar Heart of Texas Chapter Innovative Transportation Solutions award at the 2012 Annual Fundraising Gala.

By clair  |  Transportation Research

UT-Austin/CTR attendees at the Women’s Transportation Seminar Heart of Texas Chapter’s 2012 Annual Fundraising Gala. Back row from left: Katherine Kortum, Ashley Williams, Jorge Prozzi, Jolanda Prozzi, Bridget Bienkowski, Talia McCray, Jen Duthie. Front row from left: Yiyi Wang, Sarah Janak, Lisa Loftus-Otway, Meredith Cebelak. UT student researchers Yiyi Wang and Katherine Kortum won the Helene M. Overly Memorial Scholarship and the WTS Leadership Legacy Scholarship.

The Heart of Texas Chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) has awarded a local project, “Using Smartphones to Collect Bicycle Travel Data in Texas,” with the 2011 Innovative Transportation Solutions Award. Researchers on the project included Joan Hudson and Yatin Rathod of the Texas Transportation Institute, and Jen Duthie and Katie Larsen of the Center for Transportation Research.

The award was given at the annual fundraising gala on March 30, 2012 in Austin, Texas. The project will also be honored with the WTS International’s 2011 Innovative Transportation Solutions Award at the Annual Conference in Denver in May 2012.

GPS-enabled smartphones allow planners access to key details of travel behavior.
To test how smartphones can be used to aid bicycle planning, the researchers asked Austin bicycliststo help them gather information about bike usage through the use of a smart phone app, CycleTracks. CycleTracks was developed by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

It is hoped that, if planners can improve facilities and resources, the mode share of bicyclists will increase and lead to a reduction in congestion.

Austin area bicyclists were chosen as the test group due to Austin’s strong cycling culture, its known bicycle-friendliness, and the presence of several universities including The University of Texas.

If smartphones are found to be an effective tool for collecting bicycle travel data, the information could be gathered in many locations to aid decision making as to where to locate bicycle facilities and what types of facilities users prefer.

For more information, visit the CycleTracks Austin website: http://cycletracksaustin.com/

For more information on WTS, visit the Women’s Transportation Seminar website: https://www.wtsinternational.org/