Making the most of bike commuting - New Albany, Indiana
Summary of “Making the Most ofBike Commuting in SouthernIndiana”Implications of scientific research onbicycling infrastructure for bicyclecommuting in New AlbanyJune 20, 2013New Albany, IndianaEric Vance Martin, M.P.A.Floyd Action Network - Making the most of bike commuting - June 20, 2013 – Eric Vance Martin
Approach• The purpose of the workshop was to imaginehow the world would be today if New Albanyhad built different amounts of bicycleinfrastructure in the past.• The outcomes considered were the number ofbicycle commuters and population prevalenceof certain health outcomes.
Approach, continued• The results of two scientific studies wereapplied to real New Albany data to predict theoutcomes.• A wide variety of other benefits of increasingbicycle infrastructure, such as possibleincreases in leisure bicycling and walking,bicycle commuters coming into New Albanyfrom outside Floyd County, and so on, are notconsidered.
Key lessons from the scientificliterature on bicycling infrastructure• Current infrastructure favoring cars and excludingbicycles is the result of policy decisions.• More bicycle infrastructure is associated with morepeople riding bicycles.• A connected infrastructure network is important.• More bicycle ridership is associated withimprovements in population-level physical activityand health outcomes.• Bicycle infrastructure is a worthwhile investment.
Current situation• About 0.8% of New Albany commuterscommute by bike.• New Albany has about 8.7 miles of on-streetbike lanes and off-street bike paths.• Adult obesity: 31%• Adult type 2 diabetes: 10%
Alternative scenarios for levels ofbicycle infrastructure and commuting• Using a model by Buehler and Pucher (2012) and holdingother variables at national averages, the present and twoalternative scenarios are imagined.• The model predicts the possible level of bicycle commuting ifdifferent combinations of bicycle infrastructure had been builtin the past.• Note that other combinations of infrastructure are possible.• The second alternative scenario (Scenario B) imagines a worldin which all collector and arterial roads in the current networkhave on-street bicycle facilities. This would be better thanmost cities in the United States.
Application of Buehler & Pucher’smodel to New AlbanyScenarioNow A BOn-street bicycle lanes (miles) 3.6 10.8 43.2Multi-use path miles 5.1 10.2 20.4Estimated number of bikecommuters 126 233 518Bike commuters as % of currentpopulation 0.3% 0.6% 1.4%Bike commuters as a % of allcommuters (w/in NA and from NAto Clark and Jefferson) 0.8% 1.4% 3.2%Floyd Action Network - Making the most of bike commuting - June 20, 2013 – Eric Vance Martin
Health Effects• Applies a study by Pucher et al. (2010) thatpredicts population health outcomes forphysical activity, obesity, and diabetes fromthe number of bicycle commuters.Floyd Action Network - Making the most of bike commuting - June 20, 2013 – Eric Vance Martin
49.226.08.449.6184.108.40.2064.17.60102030405060Recommended DailyActivityAdult obesity Adult type 2 diabetesNew Albany predicted population health outcomes underdifferent bicycle infrastructure scenariosNowAB
Safety• When the number of bike commuters is at alow level and then increases, the number ofbike crashes that cause injury initially rises.• However, generally, as the number of bicyclistsrises, individual risk declines.• This is called “safety in numbers.”• Portland, Oregon, illustration.
Floyd Action Network - Making the most of bike commuting - June 20, 2013 – Eric Vance MartinSource: City of Portland
Costs and benefits• Cost-benefit analysis of bicycle infrastructurePortland, Oregon (Gotschi, 2011)• Considered infrastructure costs, and a small number ofbenefits (fuel and health care savings in oneanalysis, and lives saved in another analysis)• Benefit-cost ratio for health care and fuel savings: 1.3to 3.8 (i.e., at least $1.30 in benefits for every $1.00 incosts)• Benefit-cost ratio for value of lives saved: 20.2 to 53.3(i.e., at least $20.20 in benefits for every $1.00 in costs)Floyd Action Network - Making the most of bike commuting - June 20, 2013 – Eric Vance Martin
References• Buehler, R. & Pucher, J. (2012). Cycling to work in 90large American cities: New evidence on the role of bikepaths and lanes. Transportation 39, 409-432.• Gotschi, T. (2011). Costs and Benefits of BicyclingInvestments in Portland, Oregon. Journal Of PhysicalActivity & Health, 8S49-S58.• Pucher, J., Buehler, R., & Bassett, D. R. (2010). Walkingand Cycling to Health: A Comparative Analysis ofCity, State, and International Data. American Journal OfPublic Health, 100(10), 1986-1992.Floyd Action Network - Making the most of bike commuting - June 20, 2013 – Eric Vance Martin