Student’s Bicycle Equity Index earns APA top paper honors

See Prelog’s award winning report.

A new planning tool developed by Rachel Prelog, a Texas A&M graduate urban planning student, helps municipal transportation planners determine whether current or planned bicycle lanes in their community enhance the mobility of residents who may not have ready access to automobiles.

Prelog described the tool, the Bicycle Equity Index, in a paper that earned first place in a national student paper competition hosted by the American Planning Association.

In a case study of Chicago’s bike lane system, the index shows that sizeable swaths of the city with high concentrations of minorities, low-income and zero-car households and people less than 18 and more than 65 years old are underserved by the city’s existing bike lane system.

 “People in these groups are important to consider because they may possess a greater need of affordable modes of transportation and should be a priority for bicycle infrastructure investment,” said Prelog, who created maps with index data and geographic information systems software that located concentrations of the groups and their proximity to bike lanes.

 “Prelog’s report provides a means for communities to better understand the relationship between demographic groups and their respective access to bicycle lanes,” said Ken McLeod, a legal and policy specialist with the League of American Bicyclists, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, which commissioned and published the report.

Jurors in the APA contest, the Transportation Planning Division Student Paper Competition, recognized Prelog’s paper for its relevance to major, current issues in transportation planning, its insight and significance, and the quality of Prelog’s writing, argument and documentation.

posted July 21, 2016