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Study of bicyclists’ route choices
An article in the journal "Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice" describes a research project undertaken by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) to better understand bicyclists' preferences for routes and facility types in Portland. GPS units were used to record 1,449 non-exercise, utilitarian trips of 164 cyclists over several days. These trips were then coded to the City of Portland's detailed bicycle network. Trip purpose and other trip-level variables were recorded by the cyclists.
Analysis of the results suggests that cyclists' route choices are sensitive to distance, turn frequency, slope, the presence or absence of intersection control, and traffic volumes. Cyclists also appear to value off-street bike paths, enhanced neighborhood bikeways with traffic calming features (aka "bicycle boulevards"), and bicycle-friendly bridge facilities. Standard bike lanes offset the negative effects of adjacent traffic, but were not more or less attractive than a basic, low-volume street.