Posted on February 22, 2012 12:19 PM
Study of reasons people choose walking and cycling
In a dissertation entitled “Understanding Sustainable Transportation Choices: Shifting Routine Automobile Travel to Walking and Bicycling,” Robert Schneider, at the University of California Berkeley, examined factors associated with the decision to walk or bicycle rather than drive for short, routine trips. The author used an intercept survey to gather travel data from 1,003 customers at retail pharmacies in 20 San Francisco Bay area neighborhoods.
The study results showed that automobile use was negatively associated with higher employment density, smaller parking lots, and metered on-street parking in the shopping district. Walking was positively associated with higher population density, more street tree canopy coverage, lower speed limits, and fewer commercial driveway crossings. In addition, an exploratory analysis of a small number of bicycle tours found that bicycling was associated with more extensive bicycle facility networks and more bicycle parking. However, people were more likely to drive when they perceived a high risk of crime.
The study also estimates the magnitude of mode shift that could occur if certain changes – increasing population and employment density, increasing the street tree canopy, and eliminating parking spaces – were made.