Back when I was in graduate school some colleagues and I were funded to conduct a survey of bicyclists residing in Jefferson County, Alabama (Birmingham) and Travis County, Texas (Austin). Rich data was collected on how, where, and why people ride in two areas with very different cycling cultures. I was able to write two of my dissertation papers using these data, and they were turned into manuscripts that have both been published.
The first, titled “Perceived Social and Built Environment Correlates of Transportation and Recreation-Only Bicycling Among Adults” was published in the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease. In this paper, we explored the association between perceived social and built environment factors, such as residential density, traffic safety, destination, connectivity, safety from crime, aesthetics, and bicycle infrastructure, with total, transportation, and recreation bicycling. We found that bicycling for transportation is associated with different perceived environmental factors than is recreation-only bicycling, with some significant modification by sex. The full paper, which is available via open access, can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/PCD/issues/2018/18_0060.htm
The second, titled “Bikeability: Assessing the Objectively Measured Environment in Relation to Recreation and Transportation Bicycling” was published in the journal Environment & Behavior. For this paper, we examined the actual rather than perceived environment in relation to domain specific bicycling. Specifically, we examined the association between objectively measured environmental variables and transportation and recreation bicycling frequency, and to develop transportation and recreation bikeability indices. We found that no objectively measured environmental variables were associated with recreation bicycling, but many were for transportation bicycling. The final transportation bikeability index included the combined effect of bicycle lanes, residential density, population density, ozone level, distance to transit, parks, and tree canopy coverage, and was found to have a significant direct association with any past-year transportation bicycling and transportation bicycling frequency. This paper requires a subscription to access, but can be found here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013916518825289