An App for Bike Commuters

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Hi! I and two other CMU students are working on a design for an app for bike commuters for a course in interaction design, and we’re hoping to get feedback on the concept.

The main functionality of the app would be as follows:

1. You would be able to save routes that you bike on and get updates on road conditions on those routes.

2. You would be able to report the condition of a road or trail by taking a photo of it or writing a message about it. (You can select the road/trail from a map of what’s nearby, or it can figure it out based on your current location.). Other people who use that road or trail would get that update.

3. You would be able to get directions from point A to B (to C, etc.). There would be options so you could tweak the directions to avoid roads that have a high speed limit and to avoid hills. You would also have the option to get shared directions, where the directions take into account finding a meeting place along the way.

4. You would be able to see a map of the area nearby where you can toggle controls on and off to see:
– speed limit on the roads
– incline of the roads (how hilly is it)
– crimes nearby/safety

5. You would be able to vote for what roads you think most need to be made more bike friendly.

6. Information about what roads are biked on most and which roads people most think need to be more bike-friendly in a given area would be published to a webpage which people could use to advocate for policy changes/infrastructure being built.

We’d really appreciate your thoughts on what functions are most important, what might be missing, what might be unneccessary, ways things should or shouldn’t work, or anything else.

  • This topic was modified 7 years, 3 months ago by  julialt.


JuliaLT, if you delivered on half of that it would be awesome.

The only thing I would suggest would be an optional layer for bike thefts, and an optional layer for car-bike collisions. And then to populate those, allow users to submit BikeTheftLocations and BikeCarCollision locations, and let the crowd feed the database.

Let me opt-in to GeoTracking, and if I choose to let the App display my location for anybody that’s looking for me by my UserName.

If you need a beta-tester let me know.


There may be those of us who have input, but no way to actually use the app. I’m still using a 2004-era flip phone. I can text, I can take pictures, but no Internet, per se. If I had the ability to feed your app from a known Twitter handle with a specific hashtag, I could feed you regular updates and thus contribute, esp concerning current conditions.


Would be great if routes could be impoted or exported to/from other programs. Some cyclists are using Endomondo, MapMyRide, etc to track mileage.
Crime stats like bike theft and traffic violations could be useful, but things like house break ins & consumer fraud may not be relevant to choosing a good route. With the vanishing meters, bike parking would be a helpful addition.
And +1 to Stu’s suggestions for ways to include older phone technology.

Good luck with your project and thanks for the opportunity to give input.


Waze for bikes? Could work.
One issue would be to figure out how people can use the app while in transit. Waze users will have some sort of mounted bracket for their phone so that it’s easy to see and to poke at.

One thing about commuters: they will have a set of favored routes and in general will already know a whole lot about them.

On the other hand information about problems (accident spots, thefts) would be really useful.


First and foremost, keep this in mind:

Apps need to have good data management behavior.


This is a pretty good read. Have not evaluated how the Bike Pgh! map stacks up;


Strava, MapMyRide, endomondo, ridewithgps all allow downloading gpx files now right? Data Mining!

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