Route preferences among adults in the near market for bicycling: findings of the cycling in cities study

Am J Health Promot. 2010 Sep-Oct;25(1):40-7. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.081006-QUAN-236.


Purpose: To provide evidence about the types of transportation infrastructure that support bicycling.

Design: Population-based survey with pictures to depict 16 route types.

Setting: Metro Vancouver, Canada.

Subjects: 1402 adult current and potential cyclists, i.e., the "near market" for cycling (representing 31% of the population).

Measures: Preference scores for each infrastructure type (scale from -1, very unlikely to use, to +1, very likely to use); current frequency of use of each infrastructure type (mean number of times/y).

Analyses: Descriptive statistics across demographic segments; multiple linear regression.

Results: Most respondents were likely or very likely to choose to cycle on the following broad route categories: off-street paths (71%-85% of respondents); physically separated routes next to major roads (71%); and residential routes (48%-65%). Rural roads (21%-49%) and routes on major streets (16%-52%) were least likely to be chosen. Within the broad categories, routes with traffic calming, bike lanes, paved surfaces, and no on-street parking were preferred, resulting in increases in likelihood of choosing the route from 12% to 37%. Findings indicate a marked disparity between preferred cycling infrastructure and the route types that were currently available and commonly used.

Conclusion: This study provides evidence for urban planners about bicycling infrastructure designs that could lead to an increase in active transportation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bicycling / physiology*
  • British Columbia
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Data Collection
  • Environment Design
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Social Marketing
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Health*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult