Who Bikes to Work in Charlottesville vs. Bike Infrastructure

Today we celebrate National Bike to Work Week and Infrastructure Week with some visualizations of bike commuting in Charlottesville.  This is a very simple visualization where we mash up Census ACS data on who bikes to work in Charlottesville with the city’s bike lane GIS maps.  There are a variety of threads to pull on from each of these maps and we hope that it informs people about bike infrastructure and commuting rates in the city. For more information on bike infrastructure, take a look at the Federal Highway Administration Design Guide. See below for data and technical notes.

Percentage of people biking to work and existing dedicated bike lanes

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Percentage of people biking to work and existing, shared, and dedicated bike lanes

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Proposed bike lanes, dedicated

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Proposed bike lanes, dedicated and shared

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Future network, city of Charlottesville (proposed, existing, shared, and dedicated)

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Technical Discussion
We combined the data from the Census Bureau with Charlottesville bike infrastructure maps. The city’s maps were converted to KML files and imported into Google Fusion Tables. We manually inserted the bike to work data for Charlottesville from the Census. We had trouble getting only city Census tract maps but fortunately Chris Gist, University of Virginia was able to share those maps with us based of the data provided by the US Census. We converted them into KML format for Google.
Data notes
We took freely available GIS data from the city of Charlottesville for the bike lanes. The city GIS maps are one of the best open data sources the city offers. We caught at least one typo error in this data and notified Amanda Poncy, but did not get a response. For the bike to work data, we used the Census Explorer, Commuter Edition. We wish the Census Explorer allow for direct data extrapolation and exporting, it would make using this data easier. You can embed these Census Explorer images, but mashing up the data with local information as we did here is not possible given the current export offering from Census. Data from the commuting survey comes from 2013. Unfortunately, city data on bike lanes does not the include year bike lanes were completed. Armed with this, we would like to do a 2013 versus 2013 comparison to help analyze the “if you build it they will come” theory.

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