Spotlights on bicycle research

salzburg_cycleI don’t know why, but the last couple of days I came across some very interesting resources connected with bicycle research. I briefly want to share three of my discoveries …

Taylor & Francis provides over 100 research articles on cycling for free. The collection can be accessed via their web portal internet until the end of August.
As I was browsing the papers I realized once again how valuable open research results are! So many times I cannot access research articles because our library has not bought a license. And I understand that they simply can’t afford licenses for all the journals out there. But especially when it comes to research topics which are not strictly bound to a domain – and bicycle research is such a topic! – it is hard to find everything you need or what helps you in just a few journals.

The online news channel Vox has launched a series called “Biking in the 21st century” internet. There you can find a bunch of articles dealing with very different aspects of cycling.
The latest article, which was published 3 days ago, is about 19th century reservations about females riding bicycles (you should check out this article at least to see the brilliant pictures!). This article reminded me of the bicycle’s potential to empower disadvantaged groups through mobility! Think of elderly people who don’t have their own car anymore. Bicycles or pedelecs in combination with safe infrastructure would enable them to participate in public life or go for their daily needs. Or poor people who can’t afford their own car and thus are limited in taking better jobs which might be farther away than they could walk. Or all the kids who depend on their parent’s availability to serve as taxis. Although the problems described in the mentioned article are 150 years old, they are not solved yet; they are just differently dressed.

A third resource which inspired me is published by Zürich’s city administration. They publicly provide all the data which they sense by bicycle counting stations internet.
As it is noted by several authors (e.g. Handy et al. 2014 internet) and institutions (e.g. OECD 2013 internet), sound data about bicycle volumes are heavily missing! I wonder why so little data are available although many cities run extensive sensor systems … Insofar the Zürich web portal should definitely serve as a model!

I know that there are much more interesting research portals, applications and link repositories out there. I’m curious what you have recently found – just share it!

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