October 15, 2012 By News Staff
A new mobile app developed for bikers by the Georgia Institute of Technology will help the city of Atlanta plan its infrastructure. The app, called Cycle Atlanta, tracks bikers' routes and speeds, which users can save and upload to city servers, providing valuable metrics for city planners. The app was adopted as part of the city's Cycle Atlanta: Phase 1.0 study, a component of the city's PLAN 2040 program, the Atlanta Regional Commission's long-term sustainability plan for the city.
"By looking at cyclists' origins, destinations and route, city of Atlanta transportation planners will be able to see which roads are avoided and which are popular," College of Engineering Assistant Professor Kari Watkins told Phys.org. "The city can use the information to make future decisions about where infrastructure is needed to create bike-friendly routes throughout Atlanta."
Watkins developed Cycle Atlanta along with Christopher Le Dantec, an assistant professor in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. "One of the main reasons people don't frequently cycle is a lack of safe infrastructure – dedicated bicycle routes, roads with bicycle lanes and other designated bicycle facilities," said Le Dantec. "The city has a desire to put proper infrastructure in place but needs better information from citizens about where they currently ride and would like to cycle."
The project is funded from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and the Atlanta Regional Commission's Livable Centers Initiative planning program.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.