At its introduction in September 2012, the developers called it a ‘serious social traffic game’. In order to stimulate bike usage, cyclists can earn bonus points by engaging the app prior to their trip. Some routes deliver more bonus points, allowing the road authorities to boost the appeal of specific routes. With bonus points one can win prizes. At the same cyclists provide in return data for the road authorities. With the data they can see where someone cycled and how fast he/she cycled. This last item seems to deliver the most interesting results.
Joost de Kruif of the NHTV/University of Utrecht is at any rate excited about the data that the project has accumulated so far. By way of illustration he shows an image of how the cycling network appeared to cycling experts, next to an image of the network as generated by the actual cycling data. 'You can then see that the images are significantly different'. In other words, cyclists do not always follow the routes mapped out by the road planners
But even more interesting conclusions can be drawn. De Kruif continues: 'You can see, for example, a clear increase in speed after a tiled cycling path has been replaced by an asphalted cycling path. You can also see how traffic is distributed over the day and where the bottlenecks are.' The data also allows one to make a graph relating destinations (in the inner city, for example) to the cycling times required for reaching them. It also shows how the diminution of cycling delays by creating a through alley or a bike bridge can bring these destinations within reach of more cyclists.
The presentation software is made by NHTV, about which more can be seen shortly on www.bikeprint.nl.