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City of Kitchener develops data-driven cycling master plan

With the population of the Canadian city expected to increase dramatically over the next three years, planners are working with Cimcon on data-driven infrastructure strategies.

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Kitchener wants to diversify its modes of transport to prevent future gridlock
Kitchener wants to diversify its modes of transport to prevent future gridlock

The City of Kitchener in Ontario is developing data-driven transportation infrastructure plans to reimagine travel options in response to an increase in the population and density of the downtown area.

 

The City has selected Cimcon’s NearSky smart city platform and its traffic analytics solution to help transportation planners measure and understand bicycle usage in the city.

 

Safety of city streets

 

The aim is to provide planners with a better understanding of the place of bicycles in the city’s overall transportation mix as the City works to improve the safety of streets for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

 

With the population of downtown Kitchener expected to increase dramatically over the next three years, city planners need to diversify the modes of transportation to prevent future gridlock.

 

The NearSky platform has been installed on two streets (Belmont Avenue and Queens Boulevard) and is being used to count bicycles on roads, as well as on sidewalks.

 

“This data gives our decision-makers the insight needed to realise our goal of building people-friendly transportation options in our community”

 

During one recent week, the system detected between 120 and 180 cyclists per day, of which 60 to 70 per cent were using the sidewalks (these fluctuations are based on weather and road conditions).

 

“The pilot of separated bike lanes represents a new form of cycling infrastructure for Kitchener,” said Aaron McCrimmon-Jones, manager of transportation planning at the city.

 

“To properly assess the success of this pilot, we needed accurate data on bicycle traffic and Cimcon’s NearSky delivered. This data gives our decision-makers the insight needed to realise our goal of building people-friendly transportation options in our community.”

 

According to the transportation team, NearSky provided a better approach than traditional automatic on-road data solutions.

 

Those systems can’t be used during the winter, are unable to monitor traffic on both roadways and sidewalks, rely on batteries that need to be replaced on a regular basis and require complicated back-end work to analyse the results.

 

Kitchener is working with IT services and solutions provider CDW to deploy the NearSky smart city platform and to use data for the city’s cycling master plan for the next 20 years.

 

The plan’s aim is to meet the needs of a cycling community whose growth is being fuelled by Kitchener’s university and tech sectors, as well as the desire to increase population density in the city centre.

 

The plan includes dedicated bike lanes with physical barriers to separate cars and bicycles, and the reconfiguration of several roadways.

 

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