Differentiating Commuters on Perceived Bike Safety & Transportation AttributesTian Guo, M.S., Arielle Courtney, Graduate R...
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Differentiating Commuters on Perceived Bike Safety & Transportation Attributes


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The perception of commuting by bike may be a more important factor than perceived bike safety when deciding how to commute. To move more recreational bikers to commute via bike, changing people’s perception of biking as not only a recreational activity, but also a commute mode, may be a useful strategy.

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Differentiating Commuters on Perceived Bike Safety & Transportation Attributes

  1. 1. Differentiating Commuters on Perceived Bike Safety & Transportation AttributesTian Guo, M.S., Arielle Courtney, Graduate Research Assistant, & Ingrid Schneider, Ph.D.Introduction & PurposeDiscussionA special thank you to the Minnesota Department of Transportation forproject support. Photos courtesy of: Explore Minnesota, Minneapolis St.Paul Business Journal, and The Star Tribune, Bike Walk Move, andUniversity of Minnesota.Overall summary• Perceived bike safety & most transportation attributes didnot significantly differ among groups, despite contraryfindings in past literature• Twin Cities bike culture may provide a higher sense ofsafety due to existing infrastructure• The overall perception of commuting by bike might be amore important factor than perceived bike safety• Changing people’s perception of biking as not only arecreational activity, but also a commute mode, may be auseful strategy to promote active transportFuture Research• Differentiate between biking purposes• Experiments with controlled perceived bike safetyActive transportation is beneficial for both human health & theenvironment. Biking is positioned to become a major form ofactive transportation given existing recreational use. Biking foroutdoor recreation increased 63% from 1983 to 2009. Still, fewerthan 1% of workers bike commuted (U.S. American CommunitySurvey, 2009).Toward understanding & potentially moving recreational bikers tocommuting, differences among 3 groups of commuters wereassessed regarding- perceived bike safety,- transportation attributes, &- demographics.These areas were chosen based on past research & theopportunity to overcome differences in satisfaction & safetyperceptions.Data collection• Mail survey to a random, representative sample ofMinnesotans in 2011 using Dillman et al. (2009) technique• 1750 returns from the Twin Cities metropolitan area withregional response rate of 43%Measurement• Transportation mode & outdoor biking within last 12 months• Perceived bike safety & satisfaction with transportationattributes on 7-point Likert scales (See below for example)Analysis• Descriptive statistics & comparison using ANOVA &ANCOVA, controlling for commute distanceControlling commute distance & perceptions• No differences in safety perceptions• No controls, cycling commuters > satisfied withcommuting time (F-value=4.63, p-value=0.01) & > awareof air pollution issues in their community (F-value=3.46, p-value=0.03)• Controlling for commute distance: commute time & airpollution no longer significant, bike commuters < satisfiedwith clearing sidewalks of snow & ice (F-value=3.31, p-value=.05)Bike frequency, commute distance, & demographics• Bike frequency: cycling commuters >recreation-onlycyclists• Commute distance: cycling commuters < recreation-onlycyclists or no-cycle commuters• Age: cycling commuters < no-cycling commuters• Recreation-only commuters > male & > income than othergroupsOf the 1750 responses from metro area residents, 57% commuted to work.Among commuters:• Majority male (67%), non-Hispanic (98%), & white (100%); average age 51• Driving alone dominant transport option for work, shopping, &recreational trips, 5% of commuters commuted to work by bike 78% alsodrove alone to work.AcknowledgmentsResults: Comparing commutersFigure 4. Average perceived bike safety, Twin Cities, Minnesota, 2011Figure 5. Average satisfaction with transportation attributes, Twin Cities, Minnesota, 2011. *Note: For airpollution, 7=it is an issue in the community; striped bars indicated statistically significant differenceFigure 3. Travel mode for recreation amongTwin Cities sample, Minnesota, 2011 (%)80%5%6%1% 4%3% 1%Drive aloneCar‐poolBus (public)Metro trainsBikeWalkTaxi/shuttle53%24%2%3%7%10%1%Results: Commute choicesMethodsResults: Perceived safety & satisfaction with transportation attributesFigure 2. Travel mode for work among TwinCities sample, Minnesota, 2011 (%)Whether commute to workYesWhether biked in the past 12 monthsWhether bike to/from workExcluded from analysisNoWhether bike forrecreationNoNo-cycle commutersn=456YesCycling commutersn=48Recreation commutersn=86YesExcluded fromanalysisFigure 1. Sample segmentation by cycling participation:commuting, recreation or noneSafetyperception,7=verysafeAttributessatisfaction,7=verysatisfied*01234567Road safety withother driversRoad safetyexcluding otherdriversCommunitysafety forbicyclistsToo much trafficto bikeBike safety withroadway designBike safety withtraffic and speedsNo-cycle Recreation-only Cycling commuters01234567On road bikelanesCommute timeto & fromwork*Access tosidewalksClearing roadsof snow andiceClearingsidewalks ofsnow and iceNoisepollution fromtrafficAir pollution*No-cycle Recreation-only Cycling commutersA collaboration of the University of Minnesota Extension & College of Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences