Potential for revival of the bicycle in Beijing

This research reports on the commuting behavior and perceptions of the road environment of Beijing bicycle and nonbicycle commuters (n = 852), in relation to the environmental conditions in three local areas. The binary logistic regression model tested the impact of four social and 22 environmental factors on perceptions of the bicycle commute and provides new insights on the association between perception of the cycling environment and the likelihood of commuting by bicycle. Differences in perception of the road environment between the two groups were slight. Gender and education were unrelated to the cycling decision, while age and income were shown to be marginally significant. The role of commuting distance on bicycle mode choice was upheld; however, the rapid decline in bicycle mode share in Beijing can be explained only partially by increasing commuting distance. Traffic safety and air quality are common major concerns of all commuters. The negative perception that bicycle lanes have gradually been taken over by motorized vehicles is one key reason that deters motorized commuters from bicycling. Air pollution, traffic safety, the lack of road space, climatic disadvantages, insufficient secure parking for bicycles, and inadequate night lighting are seen as major barriers by all commuters. There were significant differences in the bicycle mode share among the three communities that could not be attributed to sociodemographic differences but are suggestive of the importance of environmental factors. Relatively short commuting distance for many commuters—47.9% of residents and 32.5% of motorized commuters travel less than 5 km—suggests the substantial potential for bicycle commuting for a large proportion of the working population. Finally, bicyclists and nonbicyclists can hardly be differentiated in this study in Beijing, suggesting that many nonbicyclists are potential candidates for the nonmotorized mode.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01603368
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 26 2016 3:00PM