BICYCLISTS' RESPONSE TO URBAN BIKEWAYS

Results are reported of studies undertaken in connection with a research effort on safety and locational criteria for bycycle facilities. Cyclists who ride on urban and interurban bikeways on the West Coast, East Coast, and Midwest of the United States were interviewed. The cyclists interviewed, most of them rode their bikes almost every day; most were between 18 and 49 years old. Overall, 31 percent were female and 69 percent male. The riders rated bikeways for their safety and the protection from cars provided to riders. Four types of bikeways were rated: separated bikeways, sidewalks, bike lanes, and signed routes. The physical attributes of bikeways, including their surface material and width, were rated. Sidewalk bikeway systems in Palo Alto, California; Ann Arbor, Mivhigan; and Gainesville, Florida, were examined. Cyclists listed four factors as influencing their decision of whether or not to use sidewalk bikeways: the amount of traffic on the street, continuity of the system. Type of cyclist, and design features of the sidewalk. Bike lanes were often rated very favorable by cyclists. Cyclists riding on urban streets near bike lanes were asked why they were not using the bike lane. Among those traversing arterial streets, answers were, in descending order of frequency: that the bike route would take them out of their way, that they were not aware of the bike route, that the bike route had too many stop signs, that it was too hard to reach, that it stopped short of their destination, that it was poorly maintained, or that bike lanes were undesirable or inappropriate. Riders on quiet, residential streets near a bike lane replied that the bike route would take them out of their way, that there was too much traffic on the bike route, that auto drivers ignore bike lanes, that the route was poorly maintained, that it was too hard to get to, or that they were unaware of the bike route. The survey indicates that cyclists think most bikeways are safer and more comfortable than city streets, but manny riders will travel the most direct route possible whether or not it is improved for bicycle travel. Among bikeway types, separated paths and bike lanes were the most uniformly well received, according to this study. Sidewalk bikeways are frequently avoided by all but the slower-moving riders, and cyclists report little or no increased feeling of safety on signed bike routes.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Published in Urban Transportation Perspectives and Prospects.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Newcastle University, Australia

    Department of Community Programmes
    Newcastle, New South Wales 2308,   Australia 

    Eno Transportation Foundation

    P.O. Box 2055, Saugatuck Station
    Westport, CT  United States  06880-0055
  • Authors:
    • Kroll, B
    • Sommer, R
  • Publication Date: 1982

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00399714
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-037 987
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 31 1985 12:00AM