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Charles Linn
School of Architecture, Design & Planning
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Urban Planning graduate releases app for bicyclists

Fri, 02/07/2014

LAWRENCE — The trusty bicycle has been the KU students’ essential mode of transportation since two-wheelers became common in Lawrence back in the 1890s.  But as the campus has sprawled, finding a bike rack on the fly may not be as easy as one might think, especially if one is late for class.

Last fall avid cyclist James Decker III, who was then a Masters of Urban Planning candidate, created the Rackit App to solve that problem.

Available free of charge for Android platform smartphones, it uses Google maps and satellite imagery to help bicyclists find bike racks. By selecting specific buildings on the KU campus they can quickly find tie-up points.

“I primarily created RackIt to help foster bicycle culture on campus and to solve an issue I regularly encountered,” he said.

“It is a relatively simple app; however, I believe it should serve as a testament to how urban planners can utilize emerging technology like mobile phones to educate and help solve problems,” he said. 

Decker joined the Kansas Department of Transportation after graduating in December, where he manages the metropolitan planning organizations in Topeka, Manhattan, and Wichita.

 “I plan on keep on solving planning problems through technology,” Decker said. “Mobile apps will be a huge part of this. If transit, bicycle route or other apps would benefit these communities, I hope we can work together to develop them."

“The public sector can be slow to adopt new technology,” he said. “My background from KU will be huge asset as I learn to solve everyday problems through technology.”  



KU in the news
U.S. News & World ReportThu, 11/13/2014
One in five of Kansas foster children are in foster care because of issues related to caregiver substance abuse. To help agencies across the state and strengthen affected families, researchers in the School of Social Welfare have secured a five-year, $2.9 million grant from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. “We seek to improve family functioning in order to enhance the children’s well-being, safety and permanency,” said Susana Mariscal, a leader of the project. Read more: http://bit.ly/1sd0e2u Tags: #KUcommunities #FosterCare #SubstanceAbuse University of Kansas School of Social Welfare
Inside KU: Protein research, biodiesel fuel, and KU's Bioscience & Technology Business Center "Inside KU" takes a look at how the expanded Bioscience & Technology Business Center (http://bit.ly/1zzPvrw) brings a number of beneficial services to small start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. Also: A KU startup at the BTBC, KanPro, is producing proteins for research in medicine, biotechnology, and life sciences (See http://bit.ly/1DSY3s9). KU Innovation and Collaboration focuses on turning the university’s research into industry (See http://bit.ly/ZTOKZF). The "Feedstock to Tailpipe Initiative" grows algae to provide a sustainable source for biodiesel fuel (See http://bit.ly/1oPRovz). Undergraduate Research Awards allow students to explore their fields deeper (See http://bit.ly/KUcugr). **The Time Warner Cable Sports Network's "Inside KU" is hosted by Jeannie Hodes.**


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