Thousands of people will be hitting San Jose’s streets on bikes for the latest Viva CalleSJ event on Sunday, but they’ll also have an opportunity for an augmented reality look at future street infrastructure planned for a couple of busy corridors.
The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition partnered with augmented reality start-up Imvizar to turn the design drafts created by the city’s department of transportation into an immersive experience people can see with their smartphones or tablets. It’s like Pokemon Go! but with a lot more green bike lane paint.
Shiloh Ballard, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition, said it’s a big leap forward from planners huddled in a meeting room trying to get residents to visualize what a new intersection might look like. “Once I saw the AR potential for helping people, from a community engagement perspective, I thought this could be really interesting in how we get people to provide feedback,” she said.
A rendering of an augmented reality experience showing bicycle infrastructure in downtown San Jose that the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition will be showing to the public during Viva CalleSJ on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. (Courtesy Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and Imvizar)
Two areas where the city is currently planning new street infrastructure are on San Fernando Street — a busy transit corridor that connects San Jose State and Diridon Station — and Keyes Street, south of downtown. “The most exciting part of that is just putting more bike infrastructure there,” Ballard said, adding that changes make people slow down and reduce crashes. “People talk about these as bike projects but they’re really street safety projects. Bike infrastructure can improve safety for everyone.”
The route for Viva Calle, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., includes Keyes Street from South First Street east to Senter Road and has an activity hub at Kelley Park, where both History Park and Happy Hollow will have activities. Other streets closed to vehicles include Fourth Street from San Jose State north to Japantown, South First from William to Keyes and St. John Street from Fourth to SAP Center. (More information is available at www.vivacallesj.org.)
The AR activity is part of “Bike to the Future,” the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s fundraising rides — with distances of 10, 25 and 50 miles — that depart from SAP Center. But, Ballard notes, you don’t have to be part of the fundraising event to check out the AR component there. …read more
Source:: The Mercury News