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News from CycleStreets

Archive for May, 2018

PhD studentship with University of Leeds: Towards data-driven policy development: the case of London’s built cycling infrastructure

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

An exciting PhD studentship opportunity which we are involved in, cross-posted from the Data Analytics and Society Centre for Doctoral Training website. Deadline: 3rd June 2018.

Towards data-driven policy development: the case of London’s built cycling infrastructure

In 2013, £913m of funds was allocated over 10 years for investment in London’s cycling infrastructure. Much of this — including guided quietways, protected cycle superhighways and London’s crossrail for the bike — opened in summer 2016. The chief objective: to make cycling ‘a normal part of everyday life  […] something people hardly think about […and] something everyone feels comfortable doing’ (Greater London Authority 2013).

Traditionally, attempts to evaluate such interventions might rely on survey data describing changes in *claimed* behaviour or high-level data from Automatic Traffic Counters describing infrastructure occupancy. The former are often expensive to collect and suffer from numerous (well-documented) biases and the latter are too high-level to capture more subtle changes in behaviour.

This project will instead use new, large-scale observational datasets – from London’s bikeshare, underground and bus network, from route planning services (CycleStreets.net), user-contributed and social media data —  to describe changes in city-wide cycling behaviours pre- and post- the intervention. Crucially, it will identify rich detail around the impact of current investment on behaviour and contribute quantified estimates, under uncertainty, around the impact of future investment.

Applications are welcomed from those wishing to develop expertise in statistical model building, geospatial data and information visualisation.

Start Date: October 2018
Lead Supervisor
: Roger Beecham (University of Leeds)
Other Supervisors: Robert Aykroyd, Robin Lovelace, Stuart Barber
Partners: University of Leeds
External partners: CycleStreets.net

Read more and apply online here.

DfT cycling data for research/OpenStreetMap use – as GeoJSON

Monday, May 7th, 2018

A techie post, about some cycling data which may be of use to people researching cycling.

Back in 2011, we were involved in a project to convert some newly-collected cycling data from the UK’s Department for Transport for use in OpenStreetMap.

The data was originally collected for the DfT’s Transport Direct project (which has since ceased operation), which was an early attempt to create a government cycle journey planner, launching on almost the same day as CycleStreets itself. In order to ensure that taxpayer value for this expensive (£2.4m) dataset was not lost as Transport Direct fell into disuse, CycleStreets successfully encouraged the DfT to release the data openly and to do so in a way which would encourage use in OpenStreetMap. We helped with that process, and data for cities started to be merged in from 2011.

The data consists of the cycle network as of 2011 in each city of over 30,000 people. This does however not represent all cycle infrastructure – only where signage is present. Additionally, collection included the Sustrans NCN network.

Since that time, things have moved on. OpenStreetMap has become the go-to datasource for cycling data internationally. GeoJSON has become the de-facto format for open geographical data. Similarly, Github has become the de-facto location to distribute open data like this.

As part of a project we have been working on with Leeds University, the Cycling Infrastructure Prioritisation Toolkit (CyIPT) (which we will report on soon), we needed historical data from 2011, and this DfT data was a perfect candidate.

Accordingly, we have taken the opportunity to recover the data from 2011, and convert it to GeoJSON and republish it, in the hope it might be useful for some people. It is an OpenStreetMap-orientated version of the data published on data.gov.uk. As such it is subject to OSM licensing conditions.

DfT England Cycling Data 2011

We would stress that, for almost all uses, CycleStreets instead strongly recommends downloading data from OpenStreetMap, which is topographically routable and is maintained and has far greater geographical coverage. Moreover, the cycle network has changed from 2011-18. However, the data in this repository contains attributes on each geometry which remain often more detailed than OSM. Accordingly, the data is most useful for research purposes and for manual merging into OSM, which is encouraged.

Full details about the data are given in the README which can be found on the main repository page.

Coverage:

Example area – Cambridge:

We welcome your feedback, especially to report bugs or give us route feedback.

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