This guest post is by Vanessa Brum-Bastos, Colin Ferster, Trisalyn Nelson at Arizona State University and Meghan Winters at Simon Fraser University.

Many researchers have used Strava data to analyze daily or seasonal patterns in biking to inform long-term infrastructure planning. It is possible using these methods to answer questions such as where the most popular routes are, or where there are gaps in the bike network.

However, it is possible to go further and to leverage the granularity of Strava data to guide more targeted interventions, such as deciding on the placement of bike share stations, the most appropriate location and times for bicycling ridership counts and even the development of bicycling lanes with specific operation hours. …


Let’s make planning for sustainable transportation faster, easier and more data-driven.

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Have you ever wanted to answer questions like:

  • Which places in your area have the most direct travel routes to employment opportunities by bike or foot?
  • How have your latest bike and pedestrian infrastructure projects impacted getting more people out of their cars and using sustainable modes?
  • Where are the most popular bike commuting corridors in your area, and how seasonal are they?

Whether you’re a planner, a consultant, an advocate or a researcher, you can answer these questions and more using Strava Metro’s new web platform. No GIS expertise is required, and answers are delivered in seconds. …


I had fun recently talking with the folks at Crema for their product podcast Option Five. One of the themes about which I got asked the most questions was the concept of working across teams, so I thought I’d share some more thoughts here.

First up, it’s important to say that I work with a small team, and we’re an independent unit in how we plan and take our products to market and organize our sales strategy — largely because we’re serving a different set of customers than the core Strava product (government planners). …


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Every mile you ride is worth 32 cents to society — and every mile you drive costs us 18 cents, a study has found.

We think we know why promoting cycling and walking is a good thing. It’s good for the environment. It’s good for personal health. It reduces congestion and pollution. It promotes personal wellbeing and the perceived liveability of places.

But when it comes to justifying investment in cycling and walking infrastructure, one of the challenges is that it can be hard to quantify the benefit — to society and to the individual — alongside the negative impacts we’re avoiding by shifting travel away from cars. We can count traffic flows and cars, and to varying extents, pollution and congestion, but can we bring these factors together to understand the tradeoffs we’re making between different modes? …


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This is an edited version of a talk I gave a Code for America Summit 2019 on a panel with Tiffany Chu of Remix and Danielle Dai at the City of Oakland.

Have you ever wondered why there seem to be more men on bikes around our cities than women? If you haven’t noticed, I can share the news that there’s a big gender gap in participation in active transportation — in some places at least.

Kay Teschke of the University of British Columbia pointed out recently at Velo Canada Bikes in Ottawa that in typical Canadian cities, women are half the population, take half the walking trips, half the motor trips, half the transit trips, but one quarter of the cycling trips. …


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I was recently asked by the Bond Buyer to share some perspective on what the changes and challenges that we’re facing in the mobility space mean for public investment in infrastructure.

For those of you who aren’t aware, the Bond Buyer is the magazine of record for the US public finance industry, which includes the government finance officials, municipal advisors, legal counsel, bankers and investors who raise and manage the funds to pay for, among many other things, the roads, bridges, lanes and paths we use everyday.

(In my previous role at Neighborly I spent a few years trying to open up the industry — and understanding of it — to community members and public servants. How does an infrastructure idea become a financial product called a bond? …


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Research from the Centers for Disease Control shows that Strava Metro data closely resembles Census data about biking and walking activity by the general public. Forget the weekend warrior stereotype — when you license our data, you’re getting information that reflects broad-based active commuting patterns, according to the CDC.

The proof is in the strong correlation between the location of people who use our app to track their commutes and the location of bike and walk commuters in the overall population.

CDC researchers Geoffrey Whitfield, Emily Ussery and Arthur Wendel looked at whether our user-generated commute data is representative of the public at large by comparing it to Census data from four cities: Austin, Denver, Nashville, and San Francisco. They found a consistent link between the number of Strava commuters in a Census block group and the number of bike and walk commuters counted by the Census’s American Community Survey (ACS) in the same block group. …


Rodrigo Davies, Product Manager at Strava, recounts his relationship with running and music.

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Plenty of people who love running really dislike the sight of other runners wearing headphones. Most large race events discourage headphones. Some see it as unsafe, like on a trail run, or in traffic. Some think it’s antisocial, and breaks the camaraderie of an event. Others think it’s a psychological advantage and performance boost that ‘real’ runners shouldn’t need.

I don’t completely disagree with any of the above, but for me, music has always been a core part of the running experience. Without headphones I probably wouldn’t have gotten into running over the past 3 years. Some of my friends and family are still surprised that I run at all, let alone marathons. Maybe it would make more sense to them if they knew that music helped me get here. …


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After 3.5 years at Neighborly, I’m moving on to a new challenge. It’s been an incredible journey helping build the company and reach the first $100 million of the future of public finance. It’s also a rare privilege to see a product you’re working on evolve from an idea that most people wrote off to a thriving, award-winning business — and to work on it with such a talented group of people. I’ll miss you, Neighbors!

Meanwhile, I’ll be shifting focus slightly away from fintech, but staying squarely in the space of civic technology and building the infrastructure that communities need to thrive. …


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In fast-moving product companies, we prefer conversation and constant feedback over formal sign off steps. This makes sense for designers and engineers because it optimizes for speed, but unless you’re a very small team there’s a good chance not all the stakeholders on your team are present for these conversations.

That means that as a product manager you’ll usually need to schedule time to get buy in and alignment from an executive or sales colleagues. These kinds of set-piece meetings aren’t always easy.

As a PM, you know things are going off track in a feedback meeting when you have a dynamic that goes something like…

About

Rodrigo Davies

Product @asana. Previously @strava @civicMIT @condenast, cofounder @howtobuildup. Runs on music.

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