Talk at Annual Meeting of Association of American Geographers in New York City

Title: Determinants of Bicycle Use in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area

Abstract: For the last 20 years, cycling levels have been increasing in U.S. cities. However, growth in cycling varies widely across and within jurisdictions. This paper focuses on cycling trends and policies in Washington, DC and its adjacent jurisdictions. The goal is to gain a better understanding of variability and determinants of cycling within one metropolitan area—controlling for inter-regional variability in climate, topography, and culture. Data for this analysis originate from the Metropolitan Council of Government Travel Survey, the U.S. Census Bureau, and information obtained directly from local bike planers and policy experts.

There is great variability in cycling levels. The share of trips by bicycle in the central jurisdictions of Washington, DC and Alexandria is up to five times higher than in suburban Fairfax and Prince George’s County. Similar to cycling levels, the supply of bike infrastructure and policies varies widely across jurisdictions—with central jurisdictions displaying a higher supply of bike infrastructure and safer cycling per capita. Initial results of three sets of logistic regressions indicate that 25 to 40 year olds, whites, males, those in households with fewer cars and more bikes, and those living in urban clusters and close to bike lanes are more likely to cycle. Commuters are more likely to cycle to work if their work place provides showers, secure bike parking, and changing rooms with lockers for clothes.

Session: Sustainable Transport: Current Research on Non-Automotive Options

Date:Friday, 2/24/2012 at 10:00am; in Midtown Suite, Hilton NY, Fourth Floor

Link to AAG website.

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