A cycling-focused accessibility tool to support regional bike network connectivity

Steven R. Gehrke, Armin Akhavan, Peter G. Furth, Qi Wang, Timothy G. Reardon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Many cities in the United States are working to become more “bike-friendly” through the provision of new bike infrastructure that is safe and attractive for all types of cyclists, from the timid to assured. These efforts are supported by evidence associating low level of traffic stress facilities with increased cycling activity rates and co-benefits related to the economy, environment, and public health. However, not every mile of bike infrastructure provides the same utility, prompting planning agencies with finite financial resources to search for empirical methods to help evaluate what projects will provide the greatest network connectivity benefit and how disparate projects can complement one another to produce a complete bike network. In this study, we introduce the Cyclist Routing Algorithm for Network Connectivity (CRANC), an accessibility-oriented decision-support tool designed to quantify the benefits of new bike facilities for various populations and neighborhoods. Unlike prior tools, this method simulates the route preferences of different cyclist types and trade-offs in travel time and level of traffic stress to model potential changes in destination accessibility that may result from multiple scenarios of citywide and regional bike network expansion. Here, CRANC is applied to the Boston region's bike network to determine how a proposed shared-use path in Cambridge, Massachusetts will improve accessibility to regional job opportunities and to labor force for employment sites in Cambridge. Our introduced decision-support tool produces unique, meaningful results relevant to a variety of stakeholders, and holds promise as a new resource for transportation researchers and practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102388
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Bicycle routing
  • Cyclist type
  • Destination accessibility
  • Level of traffic stress
  • Network connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • General Environmental Science


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