Defining success, and establishing metrics at the outset for evaluating success, are critical to understanding the impact of actions for growing cycling. Identifying goals, and to what extent interventions are helping achieve those goals, can quantify success and underscore the value of initial investments. This analysis and value proposition can also help make the case to elected officials for continued funding, resources, and projects over time.
Once indicators are identified and before any interventions are implemented, baselines should be established, as should a process for collecting and analyzing data. Understanding what data needs to be collected to measure progress will be critical. Indicators should then be measured over time to track progress from the baseline.
Here are suggestions for goal-oriented indicators that can be used to evaluate the systemwide success of cycling interventions.
Goal: Increase Number and Diversity of People Cycling
Indicators Data sets needed Collection details Number of cyclists on key corridors
Number of female cyclists on key corridors
Number of specific minority cyclists on key corridors
- Cyclist counts
- Travel surveys
Counts can be conducted:
- Using automated bicycle traffic counters
- Manually by city staff or volunteers
Goal: Increase Access to Safe Cycling Infrastructure
Indicators Data sets needed Collection details People near bicycle infrastructure
Km of protected bicycle lanes per capita
Km of bicycle lanes per km of roads
- Geo-located bicycle infrastructure (shapefile)
- Total km of bicycle infrastructure
If “people near bicycle infrastructure” is defined using streets (as opposed to direct distance), a network data set will also be needed
Goal: Increase Access to Destinations
Indicators Data sets needed Collection details Access to people by bicyclea - Population
- Road network
If access routes are restricted to streets with bicycle lanes, a geo-located bicycle lane shapefile will also be neededa Access to people is used as a proxy for access to destinations.
Goal: Reduce Single-Occupancy Vehicle Trips
Indicators Data sets needed Collection details Mode share Travel surveys
Goal: Reduce Cyclist Fatalities and Severe Injuries
Indicators Data sets needed Collection details Number of cyclists KSI in crashes with vehicles - Cyclists KSI Cyclist KSI data may be obtained from city police departments or state or provincial crash databasesNote: KSI = killed or severely injured.