More than 80 million people use Strava’s fitness-tracking app to log stats while partaking in a wide range of sports, including jogging and cycling. Now, anonymized data from the app, provided free as of 2020, is helping cities develop infrastructure to support those activities. Officials in Portland, Ore., for example, planned cycling paths on Tilikum Crossing, the longest car-free bridge in the U.S., after affirming with Strava data that bikers were avoiding the bridge, a central thoroughfare. As the app’s user base grows—in 2020, Strava added about 2 million people per month—so too does the wealth of information available to urban planners and alternative transit.
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