Facilitators and Barriers to Winter Cycling: Case Study of a Downtown University in Toronto, Canada

Cycling rates in many North American cities and regions decline significantly in winter months, which is a major challenge in advancing active transportation-related policy and programs. This research investigates travel behavior of current cyclists who commute to Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. By combining data from two transportation surveys, this research examines the correlates of self-reported propensity of cycling throughout the year (including winter months), in comparison to cycling only in fall/spring season. Only 27% cyclists reported that they commute by bicycle in winter months. Results from binomial logistic regression indicate that women and transit pass holders were less likely, while students rather than staff were more likely to cycle during the winter. The density of bicycle infrastructure within 500 m of the shortest route was positively associated with all-season cycling. Also, a cyclist living in an older and more stable neighborhood was more likely to bicycle through winter, when compared to cycling only in warmer months. The findings support current planning and policy emphasis on improved bicycle infrastructure. An improved bicycle network as well as municipal, grass roots and university-based programming focused on specific demographic groups including women could mitigate physical and social barriers to winter cycling.


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  • Accession Number: 01687204
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 16 2018 3:05PM