Bike Sense Louisville

Bike Sense Louisville is a public art project designed by Todd C. Smith centered around bicycle use in Louisville. By providing sensor units to 100 Louisville cyclists (Citizen Cyclist Volunteers), data will be translated into helpful maps online as well as drive a public sound composition on the pedestrian Big Four Bridge. The resulting data-set will be open to the public and used by the city's at the project's end to help in developing further improvements in bike infrastructure and planning.


Smith designed this project, corresponding to Louisville's ambitious 20-year multi-modal Move Louisville plan. Move Louisville 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.

The sensors in Bike Sense Louisville will collect each Citizen Cyclist Volunteer’s location, temperature, and level of car exhaust in real-time. Through the data gathered, we will have an idea of where bikers are going and when, all while observing 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. The data will be heard as sound that is streamed in both real-time over the project website and broadcast on the Big Four Bridge speakers.

Bike Sense Louisville cannot be successful without the help of Citizen Cyclist Volunteers. Please visit Smith's website to become a Citizen Cyclist Volunteer. You can help improve our city while playing an important role in Louisville’s public art.

Smith also has applied for and recieved a Fund for the Arts ArtsMatch grant. Please consider donating to help with this project and the Fund fo the Arts will match the donations (up to $10,000). If you would like to donate, click here

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