This research was published in the journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice in December 2012. To better understand bicyclists’ preferences for facility types, GPS units were used to observe the behaviour of 164 cyclists in Portland, Oregon, USA for several days each. The research found that cyclists are sensitive to distance, turn frequency, slope, intersection control, and traffic volumes. Cyclists place relatively high value on off-street bike paths, bicycle boulevards, and bridge facilities. Route preferences differ between commute and non-commute trips.
Floating bridge, part of the east side trail along the Willamette River in Portland, John Luton
To better understand bicyclists’ preferences for facility types, GPS units were used to observe the behavior of 164 cyclists in Portland, Oregon, USA for several days each. Trip purpose and several other trip-level variables recorded by the cyclists, and the resulting trips were coded to a highly detailed bicycle network.The authors used the 1449 non-exercise, utilitarian trips to estimate a bicycle route choice model.
The model used a choice set generation algorithm based on multiple permutations of path attributes and was formulated to account for overlapping route alternatives. The findings suggest that cyclists are sensitive to the effects of distance, turn frequency, slope, intersection control (e.g. presence or absence of traffic signals), and traffic volumes.
In addition, cyclists appear to place relatively high value on off-street bike paths, enhanced neighborhood bikeways with traffic calming features (aka “bicycle boulevards”), and bridge facilities. Bike lanes more or less exactly offset the negative effects of adjacent traffic, but were no more or less attractive than a basic low traffic volume street.
Finally, route preferences differ between commute and other utilitarian trips; cyclists were more sensitive to distance and less sensitive to other infrastructure characteristics for commute trips.
Where do cyclists ride? A route choice model developed with revealed preference GPS data
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Volume 46, Issue 10, December 2012, Pages 1730–1740
Joseph Broach, Jennifer Dill, John Gliebe