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New App Aims To Increase Bike Safety

Stephen Fickas and Marc Schlossberg

Most transportation systems don’t take cyclists into account. Partnering with the city of Eugene, professors at the University of Oregon are trying to change this with an app.

When stopped at a red light, bikers need to push a button or stop over a sensor in the road to trigger green. Bike Connect sends a message to the signal as cyclists approach an intersection—which puts them in the queue sooner for a light change.

Marc Schlossberg explains the benefits of the ­­­­technology he and fellow researcher, Stephen Fickas, developed.

“You no longer have to tell people where they’re supposed to wait. The traffic lights will automatically know either that you’re there or that you’re approaching, so that it can be responsive to you.”

Credit Stephen Fickas
Bike Connect uses both a phone app and hardware integrated into the traffic lights.

Bike Connect has been operating at 18th and Alder for the last year. The data showed biker’s had green lights 80 percent of the time.

The pioneering research fits with the city’s goal to increase transportation choices in Eugene by 2035. The plan is to expand the project.

Aubrey Bulkeley joined KLCC in January 2019. She co-created FLUX podcast, a three-part series to accompany award-winning UO School of Journalism and Communication publication, FLUX Magazine. Bulkeley finished her Master's degree in Journalism at the University of Oregon in June 2019.