Fort Worth city planners are using data from an activity tracking app to help inform the design of local foot and bike paths.
With the help of the Texas Department of Transportation, the city has gained access to data compiled by Strava Metro. Millions of people track and upload their runs and rides to Strava every week, according to the app’s website. Strava Metro makes this data anonymous and aggregates it and "then partners with departments of transportation and city planning groups to improve infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians."
"We've not been able to find out where people are riding, how long it's taking to get there, where they're coming from," Julia Ryan, senior planner with the City of Fort Worth, told WFAA-TV. "This data is very important when you're talking about infrastructure investments."
Again, the data is anonymous and can't be used to track an individual person. It’s not given to the city in real-time either, Ryan said. It’s provided months later, but it’s still beneficial for planning.
"We can use that to say, 'We need a sidewalk here because people are running here, people are walking here, people are biking here,'” Ryan said.
The data gathered so far isn’t entirely reflective of the community, so the city is encouraging more pedestrians and cyclists in Fort Worth to download Strava and log their activity to help planners provide solutions.
Strava published an updated heat map of activity in November. Explore it below — or here.