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64 Changes in Comfort, Safety, Willingness to Try Cycling, and Actual Cycling Behavior The purpose of maintaining consistency in much of the survey between Wave 1 and Wave 2 was to allow for comparisons between the two waves and to quantify change. The purposes of this chapter are to investigate changes to the perceptions and preferences studied in Chapter 5 (perceived comfort and safety and willingness to try bicycling) and frequency of bicycling trips. Since survey invitations were sent by mail and there was no way to rigorously verify the respondent was the same person for each wave, some follow-up surveys would inevitably be filled out by a different respondent than the first (despite the name being on the survey letter). These respondents were identified based on reported gender, ethnicity/race, age, and length of time in current residence, and excluded for analyses of change. This chapter includes an analysis of changes in both perceptions and behavior among matched respondents. Changes in Expressed Comfort, Safety, and Willingness to Try Cycling Respondents in the second wave were shown the same hypothetical roadway images as in the first wave (shown in Figure 5.1 and Figure 5.2) and were likewise asked to rate their comfort, safety, and willingness to try bicycling on similar road. As models of perceived comfort, safety, and willingness to try bicycling facilities studied in Chapter 5 were informative in indicating hypo thetical preferences, similar models were also estimated using the Wave 2 responses for hypothetical roadways as dependent variables. Wave 1 responses and a dummy variable for treatment neighborhoods were included as the lone explanatory variables, presented in Table 7.1, which provides the opportunity to assess the degree to which Wave 1 responses predict Wave 2 responses, as well as the effect of the treat- ments. For example, a model with a coefficient of 1 for the Wave 1 response would indicate that Wave 2 responses are equal to Wave 1 responses, on average. The coefficient for Wave 1 responses was significant in all models, though the relatively small magnitude of these coefficients indicates a substantial amount of variation not explained by the similarly constructed Wave 1 responses. The treatment coefficient was significant (and positive) in both the comfort and safety models, but it was not statistically different from zero in the willingness to try model. This implies that slight improvements in perceptions of comfort and safety resulted after the implementation of the bicycle facility treatments, though the practical implications of the small coefficients indicate that any differences in hypothetical perceptions of comfort and safety are likely to be minimal. Infrastructure characteristics were also added (Table 7.2) followed by sociodemographics (Table 7.3). These models are similar to those estimated in Chapter 5, though they differ by allowing Wave 1 responses and infrastructure and sociodemographic characteristics to explain the Wave 2 responses together. These models indicate that infrastructure characteristics still C H A P T E R 7
Changes in Comfort, Safety, Willingness to Try Cycling, and Actual Cycling Behavior 65 Variable Comfort (Wave 2) Safety (Wave 2) Willingness to Try (Wave 2) Coefficient P Coefficient P Coefficient P Constant 1.58 *** <0.001 1.53 *** <0.001 1.33 *** <0.001 Wave 1 0.53 *** <0.001 0.53 *** <0.001 0.58 *** <0.001 Treatment 0.10 * 0.011 0.083 * 0.040 0.003 0.941 Responses 2,516 2,507 2,468 R2 0.267 0.301 0.349 Adjusted R2 0.266 0.300 0.348 .P < 0.1, *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, ***P < 0.001 Table 7.1. Linear regression for Wave 2 expressed comfort, safety, and willingness to try by Wave 1 responses. Variable Comfort (Wave 2) Safety (Wave 2) Willingness to Try (Wave 2) Coefficient P Coefficient P Coefficient P Constant 1.70 *** <0.001 1.62 *** <0.001 1.33 *** <0.001 Wave 1 0.40 *** <0.001 0.41 *** <0.001 0.55 *** <0.001 Treatment 0.082 * 0.038 0.069 . 0.084 0.009 0.841 Bicycle Facility Type Bike Lane 0.31 *** <0.001 0.30 *** <0.001 0.11 0.149 Buffered Bike Lane 0.53 *** <0.001 0.53 *** <0.001 0.23 *** <0.001 One-way Protected 1.02 *** <0.001 0.98 *** <0.001 0.57 *** <0.001 Two-way Protected 0.74 *** <0.001 0.74 *** <0.001 0.44 *** <0.001 Multi-use 0.78 *** <0.001 0.78 *** <0.001 0.43 *** <0.001 Roadway Characteristics Parking â0.27 *** <0.001 â0.22 *** <0.001 â0.24 *** <0.001 Four Lanes â0.04 0.362 â0.02 0.733 0.06 0.245 Framing Effects BLâNo Parking 0.13 0.234 0.21 . 0.063 0.005 0.971 BBâNo Parking 0.14 . 0.090 0.14 . 0.092 0.03 0.751 BLâTwo Lanes â0.05 0.698 â0.09 0.471 0.08 0.519 Responses 2,516 2,507 2,468 R2 0.356 0.384 0.379 Adjusted R2 0.353 0.381 0.376 .P < 0.1, *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, ***P < 0.001 Table 7.2. Linear regression for Wave 2 expressed comfort, safety, and willingness to try by infrastructure characteristics and Wave 1 responses. explain Wave 2 responses as they did Wave 1 responses, while the Wave 1 coefficient captures some leftover or nonlinear effects not fully accounted for by the other explanatory variables. The number of infrastructure/sociodemographic coefficients that are still significant indicates that even after using similarly constructed measures of preferences as predictors, a large amount of variation is still built into these constructs. The treatment dummy variable is intended to capture the portion of variation in the Wave 2 response associated with respondents in one treatment area where new bicycle facilities were implemented. The significance of this coefficient for the comfort models indicates a slight increase in perceived levels of comfort for those who reside near bicycle facility treatments. However, because of the marginal significance, the small magnitude of the coefficient, and lack of significance in other models, the actual impact of treatments on general perceptions of bicycling approaches negligibility.
66 Bicyclist Facility Preferences and Effects on Increasing Bicycle Trips Interpretation of perceptions of the environment can easily get convoluted as perceptions can depend just as much on the subject as on the environment. Results from Chapter 6 suggest that the treatments prompted perceived improvements in the bikeability of their neighborhoods, though the results from this chapter indicate that individualsâ perceptions for hypothetical scenarios did not predictably change based on observations of their environment. The combi- nation of these two major findings presents evidence that whatever influence drove treatment subjects to express improvements in bikeability did not also influence the formulation of their perceptions of bikeability, suggesting that the perceptions of improvement in bikeability can reasonably be attributed to the changes themselves. Observed Changes in Bicycle Trip Frequency In each wave of the survey, respondents were asked to report their frequency of making trips using certain modes, for both commutes and other purposes. Respondents were divided into groups based on their bike trip frequency in Wave 1. Table 7.4 and Table 7.5 show cross- tabulations for each group within each neighborhood and the number of those in each group who decreased, increased, or did not change in frequency for commute trips and other trips, respectively. As shown in the tables, most respondents were not commuting or making other trips by bike in either wave. As respondents in the âno changeâ group are in the (vast) majority, it is rather difficult to interpret the significance of the changes. To complicate the data even further, Variable Comfort (Wave 2) Safety (Wave 2) Willingness to Try (Wave 2) Coefficient P Coefficient P Coefficient P Constant 1.72 *** <0.001 1.59 *** <0.001 1.75 *** <0.001 Wave 1 0.39 *** <0.001 0.40 *** <0.001 0.50 *** <0.001 Treatment 0.084 * 0.033 0.062 0.122 0.025 0.584 Bicycle Facility Type Bike Lane 0.31 *** <0.001 0.30 *** <0.001 0.12 0.117 Buffered Bike Lane 0.54 *** <0.001 0.54 *** <0.001 0.25 *** <0.001 One-way Protected 1.04 *** <0.001 1.00 *** <0.001 0.62 *** <0.001 Two-way Protected 0.75 *** <0.001 0.75 *** <0.001 0.46 *** <0.001 Multi-use 0.78 *** <0.001 0.79 *** <0.001 0.47 *** <0.001 Roadway Characteristics Parking â0.27 *** <0.001 â0.23 *** <0.001 â0.26 *** <0.001 Four Lanes â0.05 0.241 â0.02 0.639 0.05 0.300 Framing Effects BLâNo Parking 0.13 0.220 0.21 . 0.071 0.009 0.971 BBâNo Parking 0.13 0.105 0.13 0.119 0.006 0.751 BLâTwo Lanes â0.05 0.674 â0.08 0.484 0.090 0.519 Sociodemographics Age (in 10s of years) â0.037 ** 0.004 â0.038 ** 0.004 â0.073 *** <0.001 Female â0.26 *** <0.001 â0.25 *** <0.001 â0.24 *** <0.001 White/Caucasian 0.41 ** 0.005 0.44 ** 0.008 African American 0.37 * 0.015 0.47 ** 0.007 Hispanic/Latino 0.48 . 0.074 Asian/Islander â0.74 * 0.023 Education 0.057 *** <0.001 Responses 2,239 2,224 2,194 R2 0.356 0.399 0.399 Adjusted R2 0.353 0.395 0.394 .P < 0.1, *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, ***P < 0.001 Table 7.3. Linear regression for Wave 2 expressed comfort, safety, and willingness to try by infrastructure and individual characteristics and Wave 1 responses.
Changes in Comfort, Safety, Willingness to Try Cycling, and Actual Cycling Behavior 67 a substantial portion of respondents gave incomplete responses on mode choices in either or both waves of the survey. Commute data are particularly incomplete, as roughly half of respon- dents in each wave did not have a commute. The vast amount of missing data and the small number of observations of interest present a daunting task in drawing conclusions. As it stands, in the communities receiving new bicycle facilities, seven respondents (five of whom could be considered new riders) increased their frequency of bike commuting, compared with three respondents who decreased. Conversely, in the control neighborhoods, six respondents (all of whom could be considered new riders) increased bike commuting frequency while seven decreased. The extremely small sample sizes of these groups complicate the task of analyzing for statistical significance. Therefore, although it appears that bicycle treatments were accompanied by increases in bicycling, the evidence does not enable statistical verification. Although the changes in behavior attributable to the treatments were anecdotal, rather than statistically rigorous, the findings are consistent with what would be expected. Each treatment included in this study encountered major roadblocks along the way, with all projects being down- graded and several components being delayed or cancelled, which was likely detrimental to their ability to attract new trips. Nevertheless, the hardships encountered in each treatment likely rep- resent bicycle treatments in most of the United States. Although thorough travel behavior analysis was not feasible with the amount of variation between bicycle trips between waves, changes in behavior can take a substantial amount of time, perhaps more than could be measured in the scope of a single project. It can be reasonably expected that any changes in behavior would be preceded by long-lasting improvements of the perceptions about bicycling in the community. First-Wave Bike Commute Frequency Treatments (N=70) Controls (N=85) Decreased No Change Increased Decreased No Change Increased Never na 58 5 na 69 6 <1 Day a Month 1 0 1 3 3 0 1â3 Days a Month 0 1 0 3 0 0 1â2 Days a Week 0 1 0 1 0 0 3â4 Days a Week 2 0 1 0 0 0 â¥5 Days a Week 0 0 na 0 0 na Total 3 60 7 7 72 6 Note: na = not applicable. Table 7.4. Numbers of respondents increasing, decreasing, or not changing bike commute frequency between Wave 1 and Wave 2. First-Wave Bike Other Trip Frequency Treatments (N=181) Controls (N=181) Decreased No Change Increased Decreased No Change Increased Never na 142 8 na 138 11 <1 Day a Month 8 5 4 8 7 2 1â3 Days a Month 1 4 0 2 3 1 1â2 Days a Week 1 2 2 4 1 0 3â4 Days a Week 0 1 0 3 1 0 â¥5 Days a Week 3 0 na 0 0 na Total 13 154 14 17 150 14 Note: na = not applicable. Table 7.5. Numbers of respondents increasing, decreasing, or not changing bike other trip frequency between Wave 1 and Wave 2.
68 Bicyclist Facility Preferences and Effects on Increasing Bicycle Trips Summary Respondents were presented with many of the same questions in the second-wave survey as they were in the first-wave survey. Responses for many of these questions were compared for the two waves, the most notable of which were questions of perceived comfort and safety and willingness to try bicycling on hypothetical roadway configurations and reported frequency of bicycling for commuting or other trips. Findings indicate that those near bicycle facility treatments had only marginally elevated per- ceptions of comfort and safety after treatment. The number of respondents who had changed their cycling frequency between the first and second waves was rather small, but for those who did, a few more increased frequency of commuting by bicycle in the treatment neighborhoods than in the control neighborhoods. Although it seems from these anecdotal observations that bicycling increased in neighborhoods receiving bicycle treatments, the sample sizes were so small that statistical analysis was not feasible. Although stronger recommendations pertaining to changes in bicycling frequency would be preferred, the data collected ultimately came up short in providing the statistical power needed to analyze these trends in detail.