Bike Sense Louisville is a public art project centered around bicycle use in greater Louisville. By providing sensor units to 100 Louisville cyclists (the Citizen Cyclist Volunteers), data will be translated into helpful maps online as well as drive a public sound composition on Louisville’s pedestrian Big Four Bridge. The resulting data-set will be open to the public and provided to Metro Louisville Government at the end of the project to help in developing further improvements in bike infrastructure and planning.
This project corresponds to Louisville's ambitious 20-year multi-modal Move Louisville plan:
[The plan] takes a holistic approach to the city’s transportation system, which is a $5 billion asset that includes roadways, sidewalks, bike networks and trails. The top two priorities identified in the plan are fixing and maintaining the existing infrastructure and reducing the number of miles that Louisvillians drive by providing and improving mobility options.
As a citizen who wants to see this plan succeed, I wanted to create a project that could add to the conversation and hopefully expose these important issues to the public.
As an artist, I approach the subject of infrastructure and planning from a different angle. Many cities gather data through fixed sensors and phone surveys, but by adding the community involvement and creative component of art, the behind-the-scenes process gets exposed in a playful and engaging way.
The sensors in Bike Sense Louisville will collect each Citizen Cyclist Volunteer’s location, temperature, and level of car exhaust in real-time. The idea is to get an glimpse of where bikers are going and when, all while observing tiny changes in weather and air quality throughout the city. The volunteers will not have their specific location and personal information shared during the project. Instead, the maps and sounds will help illustrate general information about fluctuations in the number of cyclists on the roads and how the temperature changes across Louisville.
The sound generated from the sensors will act like a wind chime. The more Citizen Cyclist Volunteers are on the roads, the more notes will play. The tones with be short when it is cold outside, and ring longer the warmer it gets. A single tone will represent one cyclist and the note will depend on where they are in the city. So like a wind chime is louder and rings more frequently the stronger the wind, the Bike Sense sound will be more complex when there are more Citizen Cyclist Volunteers on the roads and trails.
Bike Sense Louisville cannot be successful without your help. Visit www.bikesense.net to become a Citizen Cyclist Volunteer, and give a generous donation to make this project possible. You can help improve our city while playing an important role in Louisville’s public art.