How to Substitute Bicycle Counts with Strava Data

Field-data collection for bicycle travel has traditionally used automated bicycle counters that capture data through technology physically placed along transportation facilities. Major cities worldwide use bicycle counts to analyze bicycle travel, prioritize funding, and plan improved bicycle infrastructure.

How do planners perform those tasks in communities that lack automated bicycle counters? Decision-making is always better justified with data. The solution is Strava — a mobile app in which millions of bicyclists track rides. Strava partners with public agencies to provide bicycle-trip data that planners can access through a web-based dashboard and download for analysis with GIS.

Strava data was used to perform a bicycle-trip analysis in a study in Bell County, Texas, where there were no bicycle counters along the study corridor or within the study area. Presenters describe the methodology developed to prepare and analyze the Strava data and how results were interpreted to identify historic, current, and forecasted bicycle travel in the study area.

This technology breaks traditional barriers to bicycle-trip analysis, which traditionally relied on automated bicycle counters placed along specific corridors. Strava data enables bicycle analyses to be conducted along any corridor in any neighborhood.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to use Strava bicycle-travel data, especially in areas where bicycle counts are unavailable or nonexistent.
  • Understand how to develop a suitable methodology to scale and forecast Strava bicycle-travel data.
  • Understand how to interpret the findings of Strava bicycle-travel analyses to align priorities with identified bicycle infrastructure needs and communicate effectively with the public and decision makers.

The NPC Peer Reviewers assigned this presentation a learning level of Intermediate. For more on learning level descriptions visit our General Information Page.