How Can We Make Bicycle Travel Less Stressful in the Urban Environment?

Mineta Transportation Institute sponsors a discussion Monday, April 16, at MLK Library
April 10, 2012
San José, CA

The Mineta Transportation Institute is sponsoring a public discussion about how to improve network-level connectivity to the metro San Jose bicycle infrastructure. “How Can We Make Bicycle Travel Less Stressful?” will focus on the findings from an MTI research report that used the San Jose bicycle network as a case study. The investigators include Peter Furth, PhD, of Northeastern University, Boston; Maaza Mekuria, PhD, of Axum Design, San Jose; and Hillary Nixon, PhD, of San Jose State University, who will present their findings. The discussion is set for 6-8:30pm Monday, April 16, in Room 225/229 at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Library downtown. Light refreshments will be served.

“The research centered on bicycle network modeling and analysis tools,” said Dr. Mekuria. “It provides network level metrics that help the analyst improve general and trip-based connectivity. A bicycle network classification scheme has been developed with particular focus on the bike user's perspective by incorporating a classification system based on traffic stress. It can also be used to rank different networks or improvement schemes.”

The model uses readily available data, making it simple to apply to different regions. In particular, the report will interest public and private bicycle planners, engineers, advocates, and researchers. However, anyone with an interest in bicycle travel is welcome to attend.

The tools that were developed may also interest anyone who wishes to learn what is possible to do off- and online. Some of the applications could be used off-the-shelf for planning projects such as promoting safe routes to school. The researchers also foresee the tool developed into a mobile application, which could be useful for everyday bike commuters in the San Jose area. For other regions, the only requirement is that the data be available as input into the tool.


The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) conducts research, education, and information and technology transfer, focusing on multimodal surface transportation policy and management issues, especially as they relate to transit. MTI was established by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and was reauthorized under TEA-21 and again under SAFETEA- LU. The Institute has been funded by Congress through the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration, by the California Legislature through the Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and by other public and private grants and donations, including grants from the US Department of Homeland Security. DOT selected MTI as a National Center of Excellence following competitions in 2002 and 2006. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI’s focus on policy and management resulted from the Board’s assessment of the transportation industry’s unmet needs. That led directly to choosing the San José State University College of Business as the Institute’s home.