Collaborators: Aaron Redublo & Josh Micheal 
Instructor: Eman El-Fayomi 

Designing a way to address Canada’s most pressing societal challenges while meeting the criteria of our academic external client, the Central Innovation Hub (of Canada).

We focused on suburban cyclists and the issues they face.

The Approach.

Our objective is to advocate on behalf of cyclists by conducting research into possible solutions to help ease the tension and stigma around sharing the road.

According to the 2014 Stratcom Share the Road Survey Results - Summary: “67% of Ontario residents say they would be more likely to ride if their community had more and better cycling infrastructure."

This naturally led our design challenge to become - 

How can we improve the relationship between cyclists and motorists?

Phase 1.

The first phase revolved around creating our inital research report. 

During this process, we focused on finding current experiential data for cyclists and motorists that would allow us to define locations and areas of interest to improve upon. We used design strategy tools to look at get a more empathetic insight on the cycling experience. We also engaged with 2 cyclists of different experience levels to help us throughout our research process. Their first-hand accounts were used to fed through to our research portion. 

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The 27 pg. research report included the following 

  • journey mapping of a cyclist and his experiences over the course of 4 months
  • an empathy map which looked at the needs of both the cyclist and the motorist
  • user personas 
  • our objectives
  • proposed timeline with foundational solutions 
     

The design direction of the research report was spear-headed by me. Here is a sampling of some of the pages I designed. 

Phase 2.

The second phase was used to fill in the gaps we had within our research using design-led research. This was also the phase where we digested all gathered data into easy to read data visualizations and graphs. 

Surveys targeted towards cyclists were sent to gain further insight on their day-to-day. The surveys also gave us a chance to gain feedback on some of our proposed solutions and how they would be received by the cycling community. It was important for us to include cyclists with us on a journey to find solutions that would work for them. This was a chance for them to tell their stories to us. 

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We also initiated a research method action plan to gain additional knowledge of the cycling experience. During this phase I learned more about the cycling experience from a hands-on perspective.

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Phase 3.

The final phase is a culmination of all our research into one digestible 4ft x 3ft Mega Map and our proposed solution. We titled the map, "You Want To Become a Cyclist?", which follows the journey of Shanil (a created persona), an average cyclist and his experience as a cyclist. 

Our conceptual solution is in two parts. We believed that to tackle the cycling issue in any way, a 2-pronged strategy was necessary at the very least. 

The first is to develop a new curriculum for drivers ed. which includes cyclist scenarios. This would be the new norm and mandatory for future drivers. To combat the current drivers and cyclist relationship, signage painted and physical would be implemented in all roads that can be shared, regardless of designated bike lanes. 

Our second solution is to repurpose abandoned and defunct railways as cyclist and pedestrian only routes that would provide safer travel for both utilitarian and recreational cyclists. Due to the nature of these modes of transportation, it seems that it might be necessary and ideal to separate them.

 

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