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Factors Associated with Proportions and Miles of Bicycling for Transportation and Recreation in Six Small U.S. Cities


  • Xing, Yan
  • Handy, Susan L.
  • Mokhtarian, Patricia L.


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Xing, Yan & Handy, Susan L. & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2010. "Factors Associated with Proportions and Miles of Bicycling for Transportation and Recreation in Six Small U.S. Cities," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt74n4j1p0, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:itsdav:qt74n4j1p0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Parkin & Mark Wardman & Matthew Page, 2008. "Estimation of the determinants of bicycle mode share for the journey to work using census data," Transportation, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 93-109, January.
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2003:93:9:1509-1516_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. John R. Hauser, 1977. "Testing the Accuracy," Discussion Papers 286, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    4. Mokhtarian, Patricia L. & Bagley, Michael N., 2000. "Modeling employees' perceptions and proportional preferences of work locations: the regular workplace and telecommuting alternatives," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 223-242, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maarten Kroesen & Susan Handy, 2014. "The relation between bicycle commuting and non-work cycling: results from a mobility panel," Transportation, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 507-527, May.
    2. Liang Ma & Jennifer Dill & Cynthia Mohr, 2014. "The objective versus the perceived environment: what matters for bicycling?," Transportation, Springer, vol. 41(6), pages 1135-1152, November.
    3. Verma, Meghna & Rahul, T.M. & Reddy, Peesari Vamshidhar & Verma, Ashish, 2016. "The factors influencing bicycling in the Bangalore city," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 29-40.
    4. Nkurunziza, Alphonse & Zuidgeest, Mark & Brussel, Mark & Van Maarseveen, Martin, 2012. "Examining the potential for modal change: Motivators and barriers for bicycle commuting in Dar-es-Salaam," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 249-259.
    5. Julian Hine & Md. Kamruzzaman & Neale Blair, 2012. "Weekly activity-travel behaviour in rural Northern Ireland: differences by context and socio-demographic," Transportation, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 175-195, January.
    6. Thomas Götschi & Beat Hintermann, 2013. "Valuation of public investment to support bicycling (FV-09)," Working papers 2013/02, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    7. Wolf, Angelika & Seebauer, Sebastian, 2014. "Technology adoption of electric bicycles: A survey among early adopters," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 196-211.
    8. Li, Zhibin & Wang, Wei & Yang, Chen & Ragland, David R., 2013. "Bicycle commuting market analysis using attitudinal market segmentation approach," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 56-68.
    9. repec:eee:transa:v:101:y:2017:i:c:p:30-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Li, Zhibin & Wang, Wei & Yang, Chen & Jiang, Guojun, 2013. "Exploring the causal relationship between bicycle choice and trip chain pattern," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 170-177.
    11. Smith, Michael S. & Kauermann, Göran, 2011. "Bicycle commuting in Melbourne during the 2000s energy crisis: A semiparametric analysis of intraday volumes," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1846-1862.
    12. Habib, Khandker Nurul & Mann, Jenessa & Mahmoud, Mohamed & Weiss, Adam, 2014. "Synopsis of bicycle demand in the City of Toronto: Investigating the effects of perception, consciousness and comfortability on the purpose of biking and bike ownership," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 67-80.
    13. Damant-Sirois, Gabriel & El-Geneidy, Ahmed M., 2015. "Who cycles more? Determining cycling frequency through a segmentation approach in Montreal, Canada," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 113-125.
    14. Jessica Schoner & Xinyu (Jason) Cao & David Levinson, 2013. "Catalysts And Magnets: Built Environment Effects On Bicycle Commuting," Working Papers 000116, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    15. Sherwin, Henrietta & Chatterjee, Kiron & Jain, Juliet, 2014. "An exploration of the importance of social influence in the decision to start bicycling in England," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 32-45.
    16. Ralph Buehler & John Pucher, 2012. "Cycling to work in 90 large American cities: new evidence on the role of bike paths and lanes," Transportation, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 409-432, March.
    17. Ruiz, Tomás & Bernabé, José C., 2014. "Measuring factors influencing valuation of nonmotorized improvement measures," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 195-211.
    18. repec:eee:transa:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:46-60 is not listed on IDEAS

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    UCD-ITS-RP-10-11; Engineering;


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