Identifying Alternative Cycling Routes in the City of Guelph Using a GIS
Cycling has been gaining popularity as both a sustainable and recreational mode of transportation. Research of cycling literature suggests that factors influencing comfort levels when cycling include: slope, traffic speed, distance, time, infrastructure (i.e. bike lanes) and connectivity to important city “hubs”. These factors affect where and when an individual is likely to cycle. Using a GIS, this study aims to identify cycling routes to common destinations in the City of Guelph that are relatively comfortable to cycle. A Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) is used to create a cycling suitability score for each segment of road and trail in the city. Factors contributing to the suitability scores are: slope, infrastructure, and traffic speed. The established cycling suitability scores are entered into ArcGIS extension "Network Analyst" which is then used for it's routing capabilities to create routes throughout the city to common destinations. A total of 9 common destination hubs were investigated and connected using Network Analyst. The routes produced are alternative to more common arterial road routes for a cyclist seeking a comfortable ride. Limitations of the analysis include: traffic volume data, factor weighting bias, and slope inconsistencies. This study has the potential to inform future cycling connectivity projects within the Engineering and Capital Infrastructure Services Department at the City of Guelph.