My tour

It's Counting Week

Gathering data on national cycling patterns in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is well known for its cycling culture. Now this culture is monitored to have more objective and quantified information about cycling patterns. To support future decisions that will further improve cycling across the country, e.g. cycling infrastructure planning and bicycle laws.

In September 2016, the second Nationale Fiets Telweek (National Bike Counting Week) was organized by the Dutch Cyclists' Union in collaboration with several organizations that focus on mobility. The Fiets Telweek is funded by regional and local governments, and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.

Cycling is high on the agenda for Dutch cities and municipalities, regardless of their size. Whether they need measures to solve congestion in larger cities, enhance the quality of rural cycling networks, or promote cycling among specific target groups, investments need to be rationalized. Until now, objective and quantified information needed to make these decisions was unavailable because of a lack of data.

In action
Fiets Telweek works in two ways. It conducts a thorough local and national marketing campaign that raises awareness of the event, and then during the week of counting itself uses a free smartphone application to receive data. Over 40,000 cyclists used the app, sharing their movements through the GPS of their smartphone. It shared their cycling habits and behavior related to over 377,000 registered cycling trips - equivalent to over 2,3 million kilometres (1,3 million miles). The monitoring technology was able to calculate the average speeds of cyclists, the lengths of their trips and see how busy particular stretches of paths were.

All collected data are then processes into useful information through a tool-suite Bike-PRINT, developed by a European Union project. The set of data is then analyzed to calculate potential detours, the quality of the network, popular routes, etc.. It is then handed over to local governments as open information. Later this year, the Dutch Cyclists’ Union is launching an open-data platform where all the Fiets Telweek results will be available.
Written on: Sep, 29 2016
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