Factors Associated with Proportions and Miles of Bicycling for Transportation and Recreation in Six Small U.S. Cities
The majority of bicycling in the US is for recreation rather than transportation purposes but few studies have examined the question of bicycling purpose. We use data from an online survey conducted in 2006 in six small cities in the western US to examine factors affecting bicycling for transportation compared to bicycling for recreation. The results indicate that individual, social-environment, and physical-environment factors have important influences on the balance between transportation and recreational bicycling and on miles of bicycling for each purpose. Bicycling comfort and an aversion to driving are associated with more transportation bicycling. A culture of utilitarian bicycling and short distances to destinations are also key factors for transportation bicycling. Bicycle infrastructure appears to play an indirect role through its effect on perceived bicycling safety and through the self-selection effect, by attracting bicycling-inclined people to bicycling-supportive communities.
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