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Developing an urban bikeability index for different types of cyclists as a tool to prioritise bicycle infrastructure investments

Julian Arellana (), María Saltarín, Ana Margarita Larrañaga, Virginia I. González and César Augusto Henao

Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 2020, vol. 139, issue C, 310-334

Abstract: This study proposes an urban Bikeability Index (BI) to assess and prioritise bicycle infrastructure investments, and in turn, improve accessibility for cyclists. The contribution of this paper is twofold. First, we construct a BI that addresses particularities of the roads in cities of the Global South and considers the preferences, perceptions and socioeconomic characteristics by type of cyclist. Second, a tool is developed for decision-makers to prioritise investments in bicycle infrastructure, considering the estimated BI and expected cyclist flows. The methodology is structured into two stages. The first stage constructs a new BI following three steps. First, we select the most important factors and components related to biking behaviour. Second, we estimate weights for selected factors and components by using a discrete choice model to analyse users’ perceptions based on results from ranking surveys. Third, we estimate the BI by type of cyclist as a weighted additive function, which are equivalent to the probabilities calculated using the discrete choice model. The second stage proposes a direct demand model to prioritise bicycle infrastructure investments based on the estimation of BIs, and expected flows of cyclists. We applied the methodology to Barranquilla, Colombia and ranked different bicycle infrastructure investments for increasing bicycle demand in the city. The results suggest that even though primary roads are currently associated with low BI values due to high rates of road accidents, they tend to be preferred by cyclists. The presence of adequate bicycle infrastructure is the most crucial factor for people who frequently cycle for sport, while traffic safety and security are the most critical factors for those who cycle to work.

Keywords: Bikeability; Bicycle infrastructure; Active transport; Bicycle demand; Sustainable transport policies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2020.07.010

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