A new project in Brussels is giving citizens a chance to influence cycling infrastructure within the Belgian capital: and all with the push of a button.
"PING if you care", which started in May, enables bike riders to mark unsafe traffic situations or unsatisfactory cycling infrastructure that they encounter. This is done by pressing the PING button, a wireless Bluetooth-enabled device that can be attached to bikes or clothing. The button then sends the data to an app via Bluetooth.
Once the cyclist has reached their destination, the various PING points that they have designated are visible on an overview of their route. Each marked spot can then be assigned to different categories, including road surface, traffic lights, sight lines, and infrastructural design.
All of the routes covered are visualised on a heat map of Brussels, whilst cyclists can also leave comments regarding what they experience.
1,000 people are involved in the pilot. At the end of its duration, all of the information gathered will be analysed and presented to the city of Brussels. This is designed to serve as a clear guide for city authorities with regards to future cycling investments in the city.
The project is the brainchild of Mobiel 21 and Bike Citizens. If successful, it is hoped that the approach can be replicated in other cities.