Malte Schröder and colleagues at Germany's Dresden University of Technology programmed an algorithm to design the optimal cycling route for any given city, using network science principles.
The researchers began with maps of Dresden and Hamburg on which every street would have a cycle lane, then eliminated one at a time based on which loss least affects the ease and safety of a cycle journey. The algorithm stored these maps along with estimated cost; city planners can select the plan that aligns with their budget.
The researchers measured results with a bikeability metric, with 0 being a map where no path between two points has bike lanes, and 1 being an optimal map with bike paths along the shortest route between points. "If you're already in the optimal state, and then we stay as close to that as possible, that's probably a good idea," Schröder says.
They describe their work in Nature Computational Science.
From New Scientist
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