Understanding Urban Bicyclist Facility Type Preferences and Facility Type Impacts on Transportation System Performance

The design and engineering of on-street bikeways in the United States is an adolescent field in comparison to the design and engineering of roadways for automobiles. As the field matures, bikeway design types must be understood in relation to their impact on ridership, operations, and in the way they can engage broad segments of the population in cycling. At the same time advances in global positioning system (GPS) data gathering, smartphone data gathering, on-line incident tracking systems, and bicycle counting technology have given transportation practitioners new techniques for assessing bicyclist route choice and the systemic impacts that result from those choices. This research will analyze bikeway designs in the context of contrasting urban area types including a dense large-city downtown and exurban areas characterized by smaller cities served by one or few major roadways (often state routes running through the center of what used to be rural communities). The research will inform practitioners at state departments of transportation, regional planning agencies, and cities about the types of bicycle facility designs that are most preferred by bicyclists and focus on: (1) Analyzing the relationship between urban bicyclist demographics and attitudes and bicyclist facility type preferences, including a review of existing studies to guide this research on potential correlations between those factors; (2) Understanding bicyclist route choice effects and resulting system impacts of bikeway installations in different types of urban regions by studying locations where on-street bicycle facilities have been deployed in urban areas. The studied facility types will include relatively new design options, the impacts of which are not yet well-understood, such as shared bus/bike lanes and sharrows. The area types will include a variety of U.S. locations and at least one dense large-city downtown and one or more smaller cities whose downtown is served by a major arterial or state highway. A review of the existing literature confirms that such research is both unique and necessary. While a volume of research has been completed assessing traveler preferences for facility types, past efforts are typically missing either specific route choice information (in the case of stated preference studies) or fully detailed traveler information (in the case of route choice studies). This makes assessing the impact on the system (potential changes in bicycle demand) difficult to quantify while also obscuring specific facility preferences by market segment. The proposed research will overcome these limitations by addressing traveler characteristics, traveler attitudes, and physical environment factors (route and facility) simultaneously. The work must leverage both new techniques and the best of past research to deliver a unified statistical examination of bicyclist preferences across multiple market segments and physical contexts.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-102

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Sundstrom, Lori

  • Start Date: 20141112
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37514

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01543372
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-102
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 13 2014 1:01AM