Making Baltimore bicycle friendly through a public health and systems engineering analysis

Research Team

Sauleh Siddiqui (Principal Investigator), Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering

Kavi Bhalla, Formerly Assistant Professor, Department of International Health

David Love, Assistant Scientist, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering

Jimi Oke, Doctoral Student '16, Department of Civil Engineering

Adopting bicycles in urban centers as a transport option has shown to improve human health, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lower one’s carbon footprint. However, cities investing in bicycle infrastructure face numerous challenges, such as the high risk for bicycle-related injuries if adequate infrastructure and planning is not implemented.

To address safety concerns, researchers Sauleh Siddiqui, Kavi Bhalla, and David Love used a mathematical framework to quantify and analyze health impacts in Baltimore’s transport settings, while also drawing on knowledge of local government officials and the Baltimore bicycle community. The data was also examined alongside global bicycle use in countries to identify factors that influence ridership. 

The research developed a framework to tackle general urban infrastructure so that cities as a whole benefit from safe, attractive and comfortable transportation, including bicyclists, pedestrians, drivers, commuters and residents in general. They also aimed to build visualization tools, such as bicycle maps and routes, to make it easier to bicycle around urban centers.


Oke, O., Bhalla, K., Love, D., Siddiqui, S.. (Nov 2016.) “Spatial associations in global household bicycle ownership,” Annals of Operations Research, 1-21.

Oke, O., Bhalla, K., Love, D., Siddiqui, S. (Dec 2015.) "Tracking global bicycle ownership patterns." Journal of Transport & Health, 2(4): 490-501. 


Detailed project information from Dr. Siddiqui

Pedal Power, JHU Engineering Magazine, Winter 2015 issue.

Backpedaling on Bike Ownership, JHU Engineering Magazine, Summer 2016 issue.

Photo: Sauleh Siddiqui and Jimi Oke on their bikes at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Credit: JHU Whiting School of Engineering Magazine.

When we were young, we had trouble seeing the cattle in the grassland. Now we can see the mice.
— Chinese farmers as quoted in The Coming Famine by Julian Cribb