TRCLC 18-02: Investigating and Prioritizing Factors for Quantifying Bikeability
Authors: Valerian Kwigizile, Jun-Seok Oh, and Sia M Lyimo
Summary: The main objective of this study was to investigate, identify, analyze and prioritize bikeability factors of an area. This study intended to investigate the existing methods for quantifying bikeability of an area and perform a detailed assessment to develop/propose a methodology for identifying and prioritizing factors that can be used to quantify bikeability.
Problem: A need to attract more people into using bikes as their mode of transportation calls for necessary arrangements to make sure that their safety and comfort are observed. Cyclists consider different factors to measure how bikeable different routes are with respect to how they perceive the level of comfort and safety offered by the particular routes. Bikeability is an important element that must be considered in the planning of bicycle facilities. Due to resource constraints, it is imperative for planners and engineers to be able to identify and focus on important factors that promote cyclists’ friendly environment. The current study utilized Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), a multiple criteria decision analysis technique, to rank the relative importance of bikeability factors for on-road bike designated bike lanes. AHP analysis technique was chosen due to its ability to convert subjective judgment to a numerical value which can easily be incorporated in decision making process.
Research Results: For on-road designated bike lanes out of 21 factors that were investigated, the presence and enforcement of passing distance were ranked as the most important factor to consider when assessing the bikeability of on-road bicycle facilities. Other important factors in descending order of importance were bike lane marking, presence of on-street parking, bike lane type, presence of roadside hazards, motor vehicle speed, presence of paved shoulders and motor vehicle volume, among others. The results from this research form a basis for the factors deemed important by cyclists, planners and designers when assessing the bikeability of on-road bicycle lanes.