Urban Planning graduate releases app for bicyclists

Fri, 02/07/2014

Contact

Charles Linn
School of Architecture, Design & Planning
785-864-4336

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
The Wall Street JournalMon, 04/14/2014
The New York TimesMon, 04/14/2014
Squeezed in the backseat on a family vacation or sitting in the driver’s seat of your KU degree on an #EducationVacation? You decide. http://bit.ly/KUsummer

Are grain elevators leading a double life? Find out here: http://t.co/bBIhNtLT68
The Big Event at KU 2014 The 2014 Big Event connected the KU campus with the Lawrence community by recruiting 3,000 student, faculty, and staff volunteers to work at 300 local job sites during one day of service.  Registration for volunteers and job requests for residents will be available in fall 2014 for the 2015 Big Event. Check for updates at http://thebigeventku.com .


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
$275 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times