New App Aims To Increase Bike Safety

Apr 1, 2019

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.

Bike Connect uses an app to tell the light a biker is on the way. During the pilot testing in the last year users saw green lights 80 percent of the time.
Credit Stephen Fickas and Marc Schlossberg

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.”

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

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.