WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Using Code To Count Bikes In Virginia

Play associated audio
Gosse's group came up with a way to county cyclists using existing traffic cameras.
Bill Dickinson: https://www.flickr.com/photos/skynoir/13919283170
Gosse's group came up with a way to county cyclists using existing traffic cameras.

Urban planners in Virginia are trying to make bicycling safer, but they're hampered by a lack of statistics about who's riding where. A Charlottesville man who may have found a low-cost answer to that problem.

Alec Gosse rides his bike to work at a Charlottesville company that analyzes data, and he recently completed a PhD in civil engineering. Those interests led him to try and solve a problem daunting city planners.

"There was no data for how many bikes were using various roads in the city," Gosse says.

Without that information, they didn't know where to make road improvements for cyclists. Existing equipment that counts bikes is expensive, and hiring people to do the job would also break the bank. So Gosse came up with a better idea.

VDOT and the city have cameras at many major intersections to better synchronize stop lights with traffic. Gosse and other graduate students created software that could review video from those cameras, identify and count bikes. It wasn't easy.

"They look different from the front and the back and the side, and they're just not very big," Gosse says.

But they found a way to do it, and Gosse suspects this software could be refined to make cycling safer by recording close calls and fixing problems with road design and signage to reduce the risk of accidents.

NPR

Remembering Robert Swanson, Advertising's 'King Of Jingles'

Robert Swanson revolutionized American advertising and wrote some of the most memorable ad jingles of the 1950s and '60s for products ranging from Campbell's Soup to Pall Mall cigarettes. He died at 95 July 17 at his home in Phoenix, Ariz.
NPR

More Than Just Saying 'Cheese,' Hundreds Sit Test To Become Official Experts

The American Cheese Society will begin proctoring its next Certified Cheese Professional Exam in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, during the group's annual conference.
WAMU 88.5

Democratic National Convention Day Two: Uniting The Party

An update on day two of the Democratic convention: Bill Clinton takes the stage and ongoing efforts by party leaders to build unity.

WAMU 88.5

How To Help Teens And Children Fight 'Tech Addiction'

Many parents and therapists say obsessive internet use is a very real problem for some teens and children. But the term “internet addiction” is controversial and not officially recognized as a disorder. How to help kids who compulsively use computers and mobile technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.