Complete Streets Design

Byciclist Facility Preferences and Effects on Increasing Bycicle

Collaboration with Dr Patricia Mokhtarian, Dr Ram Pendyala, Aliaksandr Malokin, and UTIL student Calvin Clark.
Sponsored by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy.


Many communities are investing in bicycle infrastructure, including new and evolving types of bicycle facilities. For this research, bicycle infrastructure is defined as that part of the physical transportation system used by bicycle users. To better inform decisions related to the location of bicycle facilities as well as what types of bicycle facilities to build, install, or modify, bicycle facility infrastructure is studied relative to its effects on ridership, on the operation of the bicycle network, and on the way it can engage broad segments of the general population in bicycling. While a significant amount of research has been completed that assesses bicycle user preferences for bicycle facility types, these efforts typically have not produced adequate information related to latent demand--information about potential bicyclists and what type of bicycle facilities would attract new users. The effects of different facility types on bicycle usage are difficult to quantify because of limited bicycle mode-share. Experienced and frequent bicyclists do not necessarily reflect the general population of potential bicyclists. Data sets are often too small to enable generalizable conclusions.

The objectives of this research are to provide guidance for predicting (1) the relative preference of current and potential bicycle users—by demographic groups including cyclist experience level—for various kinds of bicycle facilities in a variety of community environments; and (2) the relative effectiveness of various kinds of bicycle facilities for attracting new bicycle users and increasing bicycle travel by existing bicycle users. The research approach leverages both innovative and commonly used survey research and data collection techniques. The guidance should assist bicycle facility planners and designers in evaluating bicycle facility design alternatives and bicycle network development strategies, and travel demand forecasters in improving the performance of travel demand models.