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Info on Bicycle Use

When the distribution of bicycle movements throughout the week [in Uppsala, Sweden] is examined in comparison with other modes, it is clear that the bicycle is used primarily on weekdays. Only a small proportion of bicycle movements are made on the weekend: 6.5 percent on Saturday and only 4.2 percent on Sunday. Although the overall level of travel activity declines on the weekend and especially on Sunday, the weekend proportions of movements on other modes are not so low as they are for the bicycle. This temporal pattern of movement frequencies suggests that the bicycle in particular might be closely associated with the journey to work. Also, the fact that bicycles does not increase during the leisure time provided on the weekend indicates that the bicycle is being used primarily as a means of urban transportation rather than for recreation. To determine whether the bicycle is frequently used for the journey to work and whether recreation is, in fact, of relatively little importance in bicycle travel, the portion of the analysis examines the specific purposes for which bicycle trips were made.

--Susan Hanson and Perry Hanson, Problems in Integrating Bicycle Travel into the Urban Transportation Planning Process. SUNY Buffalo.

For example, 13% of all vehicle trips are made by bicycle in Madison, Wisconsin, an estimated 33% of all trips in Gainsville, Florida, and over 25% in Davis, California.

However, a survey in Pennsylvania in 1974 indicated that for all bicyclists, 58% would have otherwise reached their destination in a car, 33% as a driver and 25% as a passenger, if they couldn't travel by bicycle. Only 3% would have used a bus or motorcycle. For bicyclists over 16, 62% would have driven a car, and 12% would have been an auto passenger. Forty percent of the bicyclists under 16 would have been an auto passenger, and 55% would have walked.

A survey in Washington, DC indicated a higher percentage of bicyclists would have walked if bicycles were not an option. Sixteen percent would have walked if bicycles were not an option. Sixteen percent would have driven or been a passenger in a car for school trips, 40% for personal business, and 32% for work trips.

Primary modes of travel for which the bicycle substituted, by age of bicyclist [From a survey in Pennsylvania]

Age Walking Drive car Passenger in car Bus Other <6 60% - 36% 1% 3% 6-11 58% - 38% 2% 2% 12-15 50% 1% 43% 2% 4% 16-19 28% 42% 22% 3% 5% 20-23 17% 69% 7% 1% 6% 24-29 20% 71% 9% 2% - 30-44 20% 66% 9% 1% 4% 45-59 15% 73% 8% 3% 1% 60> 27% 59% - 11% 3% Total 37% 33% 25% 2% 3%

--Marda Formann Mayo, Bicycling and Air Quality Information Document, prepared for USEPA by Abt Associates, Sept. 1979.

[PHOTO: bicyclist] Up to the Bicycle Page or to it's Planning Section.


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Last updated: 7 April 1999