Message in a bottle: blitz at ASU

BikeMaps Cyclists at ASU and in Tempe should check their bike cages during the week of Oct 24th. In conjunction with ASU’s bike month, a team of volunteers lead by Dr. Trisalyn Nelson will be delivering water bottles to bike racks across the region in the hopes of raising awareness about cycling safety. Each water bottle contains a message inviting the unsuspecting owner to help improve cycling safety by mapping crashes, near misses, hazards, thefts to the website. is a citizen science project to improve data available for cycling safety through reporting of incidents globally. Data are being used by cities and researchers to prioritize cycling infrastructure investments, map safety hot spots, and monitor injuries. Dr. Nelson, founder of, is excited to be promoting the website locally. “ASU is the American home of the project. I am excited to be working with ASU and Tempe citizens to make cycling safer.” Did you have a near miss on your bike this morning? Would you like to alert fellow cyclists to a hazard? is a research website where you can log cycling incidents: collisions, near misses, hazards, or thefts. The web-map was launched in the fall of 2014 in the University of Victoria’s Geography Department by Dr. Trisalyn Nelson with the goal of capturing more data on cycling safety. It is estimated that only 30% of cycling collision data is collected by official sources, such as police reports, leaving the vast majority of incidents unreported. Near misses are, thankfully, a far more common occurrence than crashes and are important predictors of problem locations. To date, almost 4000 incidents have been logged in over 40 different countries. In the Greater Victoria area (British Columbia), where the majority of early citizen mapping occurred, researchers were able to highlight some hotspots of risk based on citizen mapping along a popular regional trail. There has also been some significant mapping in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Calgary, and Reykjavik due to local promotion of the site in those areas. Cyclists in the Tempe area can expect to see more promotion now that Dr. Nelson has joined the faculty of ASU as the Director of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. She is looking to encourage Tempe cyclists to participate in order to have enough pins to do some local analysis. Logging an incident is anonymous and only takes a minute or two. Website visitors also have the option to create an account to receive notices of any incidents in their area. Mobile apps for either Android or iOS devices are also available. We welcome all feedback and interest in the project. Get in touch by email [email protected], on twitter @BikeMapsTeam, or through Facebook. Media contacts: Trisalyn Nelson (School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning) [email protected] 480-727-5996