On January 16th, GASP’s Athletes United for Healthy Air campaign proudly unveiled the Bicycle Air Monitoring Project’s new web site. This project, which relies on volunteer cyclists to gather air quality data, is a great way for people active outside to monitor air pollution on their favorite routes.
Here’s how the Bike Air Monitoring Project works: volunteers strap particulate monitors to their handlebars and ride their normal routes. These monitors take a measurement of the air particles every six seconds. These measurements are then uploaded to an interactive GIS map. In this fashion, GASP is creating an accessible, visual array of particle pollution in the city. Some of our past volunteers, with the monitors on the handlebars:
During the unveiling, folks were given the opportunity to ask GASP staff questions about the air quality and the project, use the map themselves, and hear from Bike PGH and Friends of the Riverfront. There was beer from East End Brewery and pierogi courtesy of Kate and Tomasz, the folks behind the monthly Pierogi Night in Lawrenceville.
GASP hopes that the Bicycle Air Monitoring Project increases awareness of air quality issues in the Pittsburgh region among cyclists and other athletes. When preparing for a walk, a run, or a bike ride, people take many things into consideration including traffic patters, chance of rain, and time until nightfall. The Bike Monitoring program allows athletes to consider air quality as well before heading out. GASP also hopes that this air quality data will become a tool to push for policy both in reducing emission of air particulates and to develop bike lanes, trails, and routes that protect cyclists from concentrated air pollution.
This project would not have been possible without the support of Google, who provided the seed money. GASP would also like to thank the volunteers who gathered the air quality data, the University of Pittsburgh School of Computer Science, and Carnegie Mellon University. A special thank you goes out to Bike PGH and Friends of the Riverfront for their partnership and dedication to improving cycling in Pittsburgh.
This is an ongoing project! If you or anyone you know wants to take an air quality monitor on two-wheeled adventures, sign up by following this link: http://gasp-pgh.org/projects/bam/ And be on the lookout for exciting updates on this project!
Oh, and one last thing. Do you have 3 minutes and 23 seconds to spare to take this survey? It will help us better understand who this project has reached and what’s most important to them. Thanks!