Sustainable Auto-Mobility

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Title: Sustainable Auto-Mobility The Case of the Bicycle
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Frechette, Devin K.
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2012
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: Bicycle
Sustainable Transport
Transportation Planning
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This thesis seeks to contribute to sustainable transport research and policy through an exploration of the bicycle as sustainable auto-mobility. To contribute to the promotion of bicycling as sustainable transport, the thesis explores the connection between gender and perceptions of bicycle safety in a stated-preference survey of regular bicyclists in Sarasota, FL. Increased bicycling among women has been correlated with an increased proportion of bicycle modal share, suggesting gender as a necessary variable to consider in bicycle planning and policy. Though no significance was found between gender and safety perceptions, the research nonetheless contributes to the growing body of research on gender and mobility, gender and cycling, and sustainable transport in general.
Statement of Responsibility: by Devin K. Frechette
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Brain, David

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Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2012 F8
System ID: NCFE004582:00001

Permanent Link:

Material Information

Title: Sustainable Auto-Mobility The Case of the Bicycle
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Frechette, Devin K.
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2012
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: Bicycle
Sustainable Transport
Transportation Planning
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This thesis seeks to contribute to sustainable transport research and policy through an exploration of the bicycle as sustainable auto-mobility. To contribute to the promotion of bicycling as sustainable transport, the thesis explores the connection between gender and perceptions of bicycle safety in a stated-preference survey of regular bicyclists in Sarasota, FL. Increased bicycling among women has been correlated with an increased proportion of bicycle modal share, suggesting gender as a necessary variable to consider in bicycle planning and policy. Though no significance was found between gender and safety perceptions, the research nonetheless contributes to the growing body of research on gender and mobility, gender and cycling, and sustainable transport in general.
Statement of Responsibility: by Devin K. Frechette
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Brain, David

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2012 F8
System ID: NCFE004582:00001

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1 SUSTAINABLE AUTO MOBILITY : THE CASE OF THE BICYCLE BY DEVIN K. FRECHETTE A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies Under the sponsorship of Professor David K. Brain Sarasota, Florida May, 2012


2 Dedicated to: Arcata, California for teaching me how to change gears


3 Table of Contents Dedication 2 Table of Contents 3 List of Tables and Figures 5 Abstract 6 Personal Statement 7 Introduction 8 Chapter 1 : From 'Riding the Wheel' to the Steering Wheel: How and Why We Drive What We Drive 11 1.1 Auto mobility: Not Just the Automobile 11 1.2 Historical Beginnings: Or How to get around without a Horse 14 1.3 The League of American Wheelmen: Or How Bikes Built Roads 17 1.4 Additional Infl uences: Economic, Technological, and Ideological 19 1.5 Auto 22 1.6 The Automobile: the Ultimate Auto mobility 23 Conclusions 26 Chapter 2 : The Sustainability of Auto mobility 30 2.1 Sustainability, Sustainable Development, and Sustainable Transport 30 2.2 Automotive Externalities 33 Environmental Impacts 33 Social and Economic Impacts 34 Urban Impacts 36


4 2.3 The Bicycle Supplement 39 2.4 Cycling Promotion: Considering the Barriers to Cycling 44 Conclusions 48 Chapter 3 : Gender and Sustainable Auto mobility 50 3.1 Literature Review 50 Gender and Transport 50 Gender and Cycling: The Research Necessity 52 Gender and Cycling: The Research 53 3.2 Stated Preference Survey of Bicycle Safety Perceptions : Sarasota, FL 56 3.2.1 Methods 57 Participants and Method of Survey Distri bution 57 Variables 59 3.2.2 Results 61 3.2.3 Discussion 69 Conclusions 75 Appendix 1: Bicycle Transportation Survey 79 Appendix 2: Bicycle Transportation Survey recruitment flier 87 References 88


5 List of Tables and Figures Table 1 59 Table 2 61 Table 3 65 Table 4 67 Figure 1 62 Figure 2 64 Figure 3 66 Figure 4 66


6 SUSTAINABLE AUTO MOBILITY: THE CASE OF THE BICYCLE Devin K. Frechette New College of Florida, 2012 ABSTRACT This thesis seeks to contribute to sustainable transport research and policy through an exploration of the bicycle as sustainable auto mobility. To contribute to the promotion of bicycling as sustainable transport, the thesis explores the connection between gender and perceptions of bicycle safety in a stated pr eference survey of regular bicyclists in Sarasota, FL. Increased bicycling among women has been correlated with an increased proportion of bicycle modal share, suggesting gender as a necessary variable to consider in bicycle planning and policy. Though no significance was found between gender and safety perceptions, the research nonetheless contributes to the growing body of research on gender and mobility, gender and cycling, and sustainable transport in general. Professor David K. Brain Division of Social Sciences


7 Personal Statement I am not a bicycle fanatic. I do not bike unreasonable distances in unsafe conditions or inclement weather I r ather enjoy the act of driving, with the convenience and distance travel it allows. However, I am strongly attached to my concept of personal mobility, and I believe it is my right, not my privilege, to be able to transport myself safely on two wheels.


8 Introduction From the development of the wheel to the engineering of the space shuttle, various technologies of transport have allowed us to move ourselves, our goods, our customs, and our ideas. It is through our many modes of mobility that we have spread civilization developing the complex cultural and economic systems of the modern age. Considering the role transportation has played in the past, it would be reckless to assume its impact on the future is not worthy of serious consideration. While transportation has p rovided countless benefits the world over, its drawbacks are becoming increasingly more apparent, more irreversible, and more global. In the US alone nearly a quarter of total greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation related activities, and this number is expected to grow ( Clausen 2001 ). Creating sustainable transport systems, then, is of particular concern for sustainability planners, developers, policy makers, researchers, academics, not to mention the individuals and environments affected b y their impacts To make transport sustainable, several courses of action must be pursued. For the purposes of this thesis, I will focus most directly on one particular element of the sustainable transport agenda: the promotion of the bicycle as a practica l, safe, and available transportation option Before engaging further in this discussion of mobility it will be necessary to specifically to automobile transport. Rathe r, it refers to a type of mobility that allows for individually controlled movement. Modes of auto mobility under this definition, include the automobile, the bicycle, and walking, to name a few. These modes allow for auto


9 mobility in the sense that indiv iduals are able to decide their route choice start and end time of travel and mode of transport It could be argued, and is, that auto mobility does not exist, as the automobile and the bicycle function largely within a predetermined network of roads, t raffic conditions and other variables. However, the term serve s mainly to draw a distinction between personal and public transport. Public and mass transit are not considered auto mobile transport under this definition, as the individual is not autonomous ly operating the vehicle, deciding the route, etc. The bicycle, it is argued in Chapter 1, was the first modern mode of auto mobility. It motivated the creation of many physical infrastructures later assumed by the automobile, such as roads, technological developments, and economic footholds. The bicycle as auto mobility, also precede d the automobile in regards to the concept of vehicular auto mobile transport ; it allowed for individual engagement with ideals such as travel. This parallel between the automobile and the bicycle as modes of auto mobility becomes important as one co nsiders that, in the United States, auto mobility dominates transportation discourse and policy While public and mass transit also provide sustainable mobility, these modes do not provide sustainable auto mobility. Of course, a sustainable transportation system requires both auto mobile and non auto mobile modes, as multi modality is one of its key components. However, the emphasis here on the bicycle as auto highlights its potential to satisfy the relatively ubiquitous desire for personal transportation, as evident by the current automobile dominance in the US Chapter 2 discusses sustainable transport more fully, defining it as a sub process of sustainable development that aligns itself with the sustainability principles therein.


10 Following this is a di scussion of how the car fails to meet the standards of sustainability, and how in itself however, is not enough to promote bicycle use and convince transport users to steer clear of th e automobile no pun intended. Bicycling, as evidenced by its low proportion of total modal share in the US, remains relatively unpopular. Promoting bicycling then, requires an understanding of why c ycling activity remains so low. Several barriers physical and non phy sical, keep many people from initiating and sustaining cycling activity. This leads into Chapter 3, whi ch deals with one of the most salient barriers to bi cycling safety. Understanding how safe or unsafe bicycling conditions are is a difficult task. T here have been attempts made to quantify the safety of bicycle conditions; these usually take the form of bike ability indexes, which look at things like cycle route densities and other difficult to measure variables. Recent research has suggested, however that a simple way to measure how safe an area is for bicycling is to find out how many women are biking. This relies on theories suggesting women as more risk averse. Higher risk aversion and lower overall cycling activity among women, then, assumes wome n perceive cycling to be less safe than their male counterparts. To test this theory, a stated preference survey was distributed to male and female bicyclists in Sarasota to gauge whether gender had a significant effect on perceptions of bicycle safety Wh ile gender had no significant effect, the study did provide some interesting results and possible contributions to the literature on gender and cycling, cycling promotion, and sustainable transport.


11 Chapter One : From 'Riding the Wheel' to the Steering Wheel: How and Why We Drive What We Drive Transportation in the United States is dominated by the concept of auto mobility. This does not refer specifically t o the automobile, though the automobile currently dominates the transportation scene. Rather, the concept of auto mobility implies simply autonomous movement, and the automobile is not the only vehicle used to achieve this. This chapter will discuss auto m obility and two modes of auto mobile transportation the car and the bike. A historical comparison of these two modes will be outlined, mobile system began with the bicycle. This two wheeled, human pow ered vehicle, it is argued, inspired the social, political, economic, and physical infrastructures later adopted by the automobile. This is followed by a discussion of the automobile as necessity rather than choice, resulting in the exclusion of other tran sport modes, specifically non motorized modes such as walking and cycling Understanding auto mobility looking at its causes, supports, and effects leads to the conclusion that auto mobility, as a transportation system monopolized by the automobile, is unsustainable. 1.1 Auto mobility: Not Just the Automobile The concept of auto mobility can be explained as the intersection of its two constituent terms autonomy and mobility. Autonomy implies freedom; mobility implies movement. Based on this definition of auto mobility, the idea of a vehicle for au to


12 mobility becomes impossible The vehicle itself, be it plane, train, car, or bike, operates as a carrier an external requirement in the mobility of the self, thus negating the concept of moving the self autonomously ( Bohm et al. 2006, 11 ). Vehicles also require p olitical, social, and physical infrastructures to support them, such as roads and the various laws and regulations implicit in their use. Therefore, terming any form of mobility as mobility theorists argue, fallacious ( Bohm et al. 2006, 11 ). Due to this impossibility of auto mobility, our concept of auto mobility depends on the forms of mobility we choose to engage in. The automobile easily comes to mind when thinking of the concept of auto mobility; the bicycle as auto mobility is not as obvious. This is largely because the automobile is the dominant form of auto mobility we use. John Urry, a prominent auto (1) it is a manufactured object (2) it is an item of individual consumption laden with status and value, (3) it creates a machinic complex of industry interlinkages and dependencies, such as road construction, hotels, and real estate, (4) it is a quasi private mobility that subordinates ot her forms of mobility quasi private in the sense that it is not public mobility, but rather a semi privatized and personal form of transport (5) it carries with it a specific culture and suggests there are criteria for being a citizen of that mobility c ulture, and (6) it requires vast environmental resource consumption associated with various forms of pollution ( Urry 2006, 17 ). While Urry here is describing the automobile he could very well be describing the bicycle during its brief period of transport ation dominance prior to the coming of the car. The bicycle is indeed (1) a manufactured object of (2) individual consumption, offering (4) quasi private mobility.


13 During the 1890s bicycle boom, a strong (3) machinic complex developed, as the bicycle indus try became the largest in the US, creating a strong (5) bicycle culture, in which the ( Oddy 2007, 101). The main departure here for the bicycle and the automobile as modes of auto mobility is that of (6) environmental resource consumption and the externalities thereof. The automobile industry and automobile use, as described more fully in the next chapter, produce environmental degradation on a scale incomparable to a ny other mode of auto mobility, or of transportation in general. Though the bicycle requires resource consumption, as it is a manufactured good and requires resource use for things like road infrastructure, it does not produce nearly the amount or magnitud e of environmental temporally dependent opportunity to accumulate environmental degradatio n. However, by virtue of being a human powered vehicle that operates best within more compact, dense urban environments, the bicycle offers a more sustainable mode of auto mobility. Now, before engaging in a discussion of the environmental impacts of th e automobile and the bicycle, it will be useful to first consider the other components of auto mobility Urry describes I will argue that these were first produced for or through the bicycle, later being adopted and adapted to the automobile. I will explain, through historical examination, how the bicycle created the social, political, technological, and physical infrastructures that the automobile later assumed and used to create what automobile theorists Bo hm et al. 2006, 6 ).


14 1.2 Historical Beginnings: Or How to get around without a Horse Until the invention of the bicycle in the late 19 th century, personal, terrestrial transportation required a horse. For various reasons, including public sanitation, maintenance costs, and parking limitations, this method of travel proved burdensome and exclusive. Only a select class of people could afford a horse and carriage, leaving a majority of city dwellers and many rural inhabitants without a vehicle for person al mobility. This lack of vehicle did not quell the desire for personal transportation, the late 18 th and early 19 th centuries. In 1817, Karl von Drais introduced the first legitimate attempt at what we now consider the common bicycle. The velocipede, also called a Draisine, consisted of a wooden frame connecting two wheels. This primitive bicycle lacked pedals, instead being propelled by the feet much l through racing events, long distance touring, and demonstrations in parks and cities. Particularly in the urban con text, the velocipede received much criticism, as it was ridden the behest of pedestrians (Herlihy 2006, 50 disregarded speed limits and street etiquette, became a c ommon fixture on city streets (H erlihy 2006, 263). The popularity of the vehicle was further doubted because it was


15 custom made, expensive, and rather dangerous to ride (Herlihy 2006 ). The London College of Surgeons discoura ged the use of the velocipede as it increased risk of hernias 2006, 119 ). Despite these criticisms, the velocipede sparked legitimate interest mainly because of its potential as a more practical and democratic mode of transportation. This utilitarian potential began to come to fruition in the 1860s with the addition of the pedal. This design improvement increased the practicality and ease o f operation of the vehicle, thus increasing its popularity, production, and use. As bicycle manufacturing increased, a revolution in transportation was prophesied. Rather than remaining a toy of the rich, this new two wheeled, human powered vehicle was des tined to become an soon discard their carriages, or forgo the train, and commute on bicycles between their suburba erlihy 2006, 108 ). The velocipede, however, was not yet ready to fulfill its ambitions of becoming a utilitarian mode of transportation. In the 1870s, the Ordinary, also deridingly termed the penny farthing or the boneshaker, became the focus of bicycle manufacturing. This bicyc le was used for racing and had little practical application, particularly in an urban context. The Ordinary had one large front tire up to five feet in diameter and one smaller back tire. The seat was perched precariously high, making mounting and dismount ing a challenge. Ordinaries became widely popular for their speed and thrilling, adventurous ride. Cycling clubs popped up all over America and Europe, as an elite penny farthing racing culture developed (Herlihy 2006) The Ordinary further propelled bicyc les into the


16 realm of pure recreation, despite manufacturers' ambitions of creating a utilitarian vehicle for everyday travel If the velocipede was to fulfill its utilitarian ambitions, it would need to be safer and easier to ride. Both of the se design needs were met in 1876 with the engineering of the Safety bicycle. The Safety departed from the Ordinary in that it used wheels of equal size and a lower seat that could be easily mounted from a standing position. This gave the rider the ability to slow and dismount easily, which proved attractive for urban environments where cyclists would frequently need to dismount or slow down due to pedestrians. With its lower center of gravity and more aerodynamic design, the Safety bicycle was decidedly mo re stable, and, as its name suggests, safer. To improve the bicycle further the pneumatic tire was added in the 1890s, making it lighter, more efficient, and increasingly more practical. Also during this time, bicycle production moved to the factory, allo wing for significantly increased production, lower prices, and wider availability. This produced a doubling of bicycle sales in the US, and bicycles began to overtake the streets in Europe and America. This period of time was known as the Bicycle Age, last ing from the 1890s to the coming of the automobile ( Oliver 1956, 415). The development of the automobile bears a striking resemblance to that of the bicycle. As was the case with the bicycle, the earliest automobile prototypes were custom made, expensi ve, slow, dangerous, and overall impractical as a utilitarian mode of transport Much like the bicycle, automobiles were "treated variously as an object of Berger 2001, xvii). Also, like the bicycle, the automobile was intro duced to the public as a luxury a


17 means of travel and recreation for the wealthy. Cars were publicized via long distance touring dem onstrations and racing events similar to those conducted to adver tise the Ordinary in the 1870s (B erger 2001, automobile received criticisms and resistance for many of the same reasons the bicycle did, such as impracticality, unaffordability, etc. It was only with v arious design improvements and manufacturing developments that the automobile became affordable and practical for the public ( Berger 2001 xvii). Therefore, as was true with the bicycle, practicality, safety, and affordability were necessary to drive up co nsumer demand. 1.3 The League of American Wheelmen: Or How Bikes Built Roads Design improvements and increased affordability were not the only determinant factors in the popularity of the bicycle or the automobile. Physical infrastructures and political support played a significant role, beginning in the Bicycle Age and continuing on through the current automobile era Ironically and despite popular opinion, roads were not initially made for cars. The bicycle was in fact the preliminary cat alyst for the creation of a paved network of national roads and highways as t he Bicycle Age initiated the Good Roads Movement in the United States ( Oliver 1956, 415). In 1880, the League of American Wheelmen was founded as a non profit bicycling advocacy group that lobbied for and financed the construction of good roads. Isaac Potter, former president of the League, and other vehicle [co P otter 1896 794 ). As the bicycle craze soared in


18 thousands of members and, at its height, over a hundred thousand. League members, like any lobbying group, invested huge sums of m oney into cycling advertising and cycling literature. They distributed Good Roads Magazine to over a million readers. The Gospel of Good Roads, a then famous pamphlet by Isaac Potter, president of the League, outlined the benefits of good roads, specifical ly for rural inhabitants and farmers ( Potter 1891) and for purposes of military functionality, in terms of domestic national defense (Herlihy 2006) Isaac Potter emphasized the influence of the bicycle on road construction, writing in Century Magazine i more closely in touch with each other, and the wheelman's influence at the State capital is certain, in the end, to secure the aid and supervision of the State in the making and maintainin P otter 1896 787). Albert Pope, a bicycle manufacturer and prominent funding member of the League, vigorously campaigned, donating money to road engineering education and introducing an impressive petition to the federal governmen t calling for a road department, which resulted in the creation of a commission to study a national road network (H erlihy 2006, 272). Pope gained much political support, including powerful railroad magnates and other political figures. Despite the lobby ing efforts of the League, serious government subsidization of roads did not come about until after the automobile became popular. In 1898, the Office of Road Inquiry was established and given a mere $10,000 budget ( Weingroff 1996 ) Roads came under federa l control in 1904, and the Office of Public Roads was created with an even higher budget of $50,000 ( Weingroff 1996 ). The first serious federal


19 Congress passed the Federa l Aid Road Act in 1916, offering 50 50 federal state fund matching for road construction. This subsidization was further strengthened with the 1921 Federal Highway Act, which provided funding to state highway agencies. Much later, under President Eisenhowe r, the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 began the National System of Interstate Highways, federally funding 90% of the cost of interstates with 10% of the cost being left to the state ( Weingroff, 1996) This historical perspective on road infrastructure highlights the competition between the bicycle and the automobile as transport technologies, indicating that the politically and economically. Not only did individual motorists and cyclists compete for physical road space, bicycle and automobile proponents respectively competed for government support. Road construction and road use were dominated by the automobile, thus disallowing the bicycle the legitimacy it enjoyed during it s boom as a practical mode of transport. 1.4 Additional Influences: Economic, Technological, and Ideological As explained above, the dominance of the automobile resulted from improved design features, increased affordability, and establishment of adequate infrastructure. Concurrent with and subsequent to all of these factors, the economy of the bicycle began to buckle under that of the automobile Isaac Potter, president of the League, be around $75,000 ,000 in 1896 (T obin


20 1974, 839 ). This included the manufacture and sale of bicycles as well as numerous related industries, such as repair shops, clothing markets, cycling clubs, tourist opportunities, map productions, and road construction ( Tobin 1974, 839 ). The number of bicycle factories rose from 27 in 1890 to over 300 in 1899 ( T obin 1974, 839). At this st industries in the erlihy 2006, 270). eased, however, many of the economic infrastructures supporting the bicycle industry turned instead to support that of the car, and by 1920, the automobile industry took the lead, becoming the larg est economic sector in the US (B erger 2001, xx) The automobile churned out huge money making industries, such as fast food restaurants, motels, strip malls, parking construction, traffic engineering, and suburban real estate not to mention fossil fuels. As Americans began buying cars en masse, many of the old bicycle related industries began to serve the automobile instead. Bicycle factories began producing automobiles, bicycle repair shops turned into gas stations, and bike mechanics became car mechanics the most notable of these being Henry Ford, of Fo rd Motors, and Charles and Frank Duryea, the brothers who built the first gasoline powered automobile in 1893 (Herlihy 2006, 292 ; F link 1990, 5, less likely to be indivi dual inventors starting a completely new business than men who added the production of automobiles to an existing operation. Most frequently, they were bicycle an quoted in F link 1990, 23). In fact, the most prominent early mo tor vehicle producer in the US was the Pope Manufacturing Company, which had been the leading bi cycle manufacturer until 1896 (F link 1990, 9).


21 The automobile also drew heavily on the technological advances championed first by the bicycle. James Flink, i n his book The Automobile Age technological innovation not even the internal combustion engine was as important to 1990, 5). Automobile engineering borrowed various technologica l advances pioneered by the bicycle, such as the and chain and erlihy 2006, production a method of manufa would become essential in the volume production of link 1990, 5). This historical account shows that the bicycle initiated the construction of roads, occupied factories that would eventually be used by the automobile indu stry, initiated the act of vehicle mass production, and provided technological innovations necessary for the invention of the automobile. In addition, the bicycle paved the way for the automobile in a theoretical sense. Hiram Percy Maxim, who invented the electric car in 1895, b elieved possibilities of independent, long distance travel over the ordinary highway. We thoug ht the railroad was good enough. The bicycle created a new demand beyond the ability of the railroad to supply. Then it came about that the bicycle could not satisfy the demand which it had created. A mechanically propelled vehicle was wanted instead of a foot propelled one, and we now know that t erlihy 2006, 291). This desire for auto mobility that began with the bicycle continues still today. ery


22 erlihy 2006, 266). Today, this is true of the automobile, as automobile leases and expenditures make up a significant prop ortion of debt for US citizens Even in a global sense, developing countries are striving to encour age automobile use and develop automobile infrastructure to mimic the auto mobility of the more developed nations (Renner 1988, 13) 1.5 Auto Gary Alla the modern service 1974, 842 ). The bicycle introduced a mode of millions an obin 1974, 84 2). In the more lavish of trips, first class, i ncluding the steamship passages 2006, 250). Tobin argues this yearning for escape did not indicate an anti urba nist disposition. Rather, it suggested a melding of urban and rural ideals, as the bicycle tourist desired rural and pastoral landscapes while still holding high demands for tourist accommodations, hotels, food, and other comforts of urban living ( T obin 19 74, tourist desired not only urban amenities where he travelled, but for the mode itself to meet the criteria of comfort and isolation. The tourist wished to see more, faster, with


23 urban comfort and social isolation bui lt into his machine. Born on the bicycle, the modern tourist would mature in his autom obile 1974, 8 46 ). The bicycle, then, created (Tobin 1974, 845) The motivations of th is type of comfortable, private tourism that Tobin describes echo similar motivations as those of American suburbanization. The d esire for urban non urban environment describes what James Kunstler calls our in other words, suburbanization ( 1993, rather peculiar to America, that neither the city nor the country was really a suitable place 1993, 37). It was this idea, al so, that inspired early bicycle tourists; they craved an experience of the wilderness without the hardships of the outdoors. In this way, these tourists demonstrated that they believed mobility, specifically auto mobility, could provide this melding of urb an and rural, or urban and natural, environments. The bicycle created this meld, and the automobile exacerbated it, aiding the spread of modern suburban sprawl. Without transportation technologies, suburbanization would itself require hardships, created by the mere fact of travel and the overcoming of distance. The bicycle ameliorated this obstacle of distance, while the auto mobile annihilated it. 1.6 The Automobile: the Ultimate Auto mobility The departure from bicycle dominated transportation to the adoption of auto centrism is also due in large part to the cultural and experiential differences attached to each mode. The bicycle and the automobile, when first introduced and at the height of


24 their respective popularities, both opera ted as signifiers of modernity (Oddy 2007) In his book The Ride to Modernity: The Bicycle in Canada G. B. Norcliffe defines modernity as dominated by themes of progress, change, rationa lity, universality, and truth (N orcliffe 2001, 10). Industrialization embodied many of these themes, as mass production indicated universalization. Consumption became a democratizing force, targeting the midd le class specifically. Modernity encouraged middle class individuals to emulate the 2001, 11 17 ). Modernity was also h eavily concerned with novelty, as change was considered a positive. New developments and technologies were lauded simply for their newness. Change often took and i nstitutions t orcliffe 2001, 11). Modernity, described in this way, produces and is reinforced by mobility. Mass consumption and mass availability of goods, services, institutions, and environments, would not be possible w ithout mobilit y of those goods, services, etc Auto mobility, in particular, is considered a driver of modernity so to speak, as it provides democratic transportation or transportation available to a majority of people. The bicycle and the automobile wer e mass produced and mass consumed mobilities. Each began as a luxury for the upper class, ridden by wealthy elites, celebrities, and other prominent figures in the public realm. Bike riding and car driving indicated status, making the use of these vehicles in urban environments viewed as a spectacle. As mass production increased their affordability, both modes became common transportation, however, democratizing them and democratizing auto mobility.


25 The bicycle and the automobile both offered freedom of movement and specifically over time and space. It is here that the bicycle and the automobile differ significantly, and it is this difference that arguably led to the dominance of the automobile. The bicycle, as descri bed above, offered the possibility of temporary (tourism) and permanent (suburbanization) escape from the Industrial Age city, the countryside, or whatever physical setting a person felt bound to. This sense of freedom first provided by the bicycle was gal vanized by the automobile, which provided significant increases in speed and distance travel. This apparent freedom and power afforded by the automobile is, however, in many ways illusory, and the flexibility inherent in auto mobility is not without a s ense of coercion (Urry 2006, 19) The car allows for travel at various speeds over various distances at any time in practically any direction. However, by allowing for this freedom on such a widespread scale, the automobile has created auto mobility as a necessity. By increasing possible travel distance, the automobile has increased reasonable travel distance, thus creating a necessary distance that must be travelled. This is evidenced by the increasingly longer commutes made by car drivers. The Bureau of Transportation Studies has identified a term ( Bureau of Transportation Statistics 2001 ) A stretch commute is a trip of 50 miles or more for a one way trip, meaning that some commuters are travelling 100 miles or more on a given travel day. engage in stretch com muting (2001) This indicates an increase in the willingness, or necessity, of longer distance travel. Through the increase in ability to cover longer distances, the automobile either makes people more willing to travel such distances or


26 makes it so that t raveling such distances is necessary. This necessitation of auto mobility, then, leads to the exclusion of other modes of mobility, specifically other modes of auto mobility (Urry 2006 ) The street becomes dominated by the car, and in order to engage in mo bility one must be mobile within a system that necessitates automobile use. This coercive element of automobile travel, then, counters the supposed freedom and flexibility the automobile is meant to offer. This understanding is essential to understandi ng how we can move toward a system of sustainable transport, in which the automobile is not the only feasible option for auto mobility. The necessity of offering this multi modality will be discussed, in the next chapter, as an imperative for the creation of a sustainable transportation network. It is important to note here that auto mobility is not a negative concept in itself. Rather, it is that the mode of auto mobility most used the car is unsustainable, and the urban forms that auto mobility allows are arguably unsustainable as well. Conclusions This chapter discusses the various ways in which the bicycle paved the way for the automobile. As the first mode of auto mobility, the bicycle created many of the infrastructures political, social, e conomic, and structural that were later adopted by and adapted to the automobile. These can be addressed through John for the current dominance of the automobile. manuf actured object. Urry, in describing this for the automobile, states that the automobile as a manufactured


27 industry from which Fordism and Post ( Urry 2006, 18). Prior to the automobile, the bicycle industry was one of the largest in the country, and its mass productive manufacturing techniques predated the Fordist methods. Second, the automobile is an item of individual consumption s status to its owner/user through its sign values (such as speed, home, safety, sexual desire, career success, Urry 2006, 18). The bicycle, as an item of individual consumption, also gave its user status, as the bicycle carried with it similar sign values as the automobile many of these being associated with modernity, such as speed, freedom, and progress, but also with more individual identity values, such as masculinity. Third, Urry argues the automobile creates a machinic complex of industry int erlinkages and dependencies, such as road construction, hotels, and real estate. The bicycle also employed a machinic complex, creating bicycle dependent tourist economies, clothing industries, manufacturing, and road construction. This industrial complex preceded the automobile and, in many instances, such as with the Pope Manufacturing Co., was converted to serve the automobile industry. Fourth, the private mobility Urry 2006, 1 8). Urry suggests this type of mobility changes the way people Urry 2006, 18). The bicycle, though it satisfies the main criteria of this point in being a qu asi private mobility, does not subordinate other transport modes currently. During the bicycle boom, however, the bicycle did dominate the street, forcing pedestrians and carriages to make way for the nascent two wheelers. Also, d uring the


28 boom, the bicycl e was considered a mobility that restructured the way people engaged in tourism, leisure, and commuting thereby effecting daily changes in the way people structured their lives Fifth, the automobile carries with it a specific culture and suggests there a re criteria for being a citizen of that mobility culture. The bicycle, as described above, was introduced as a mobility culture for the rich. Later, this culture expanded to include the working class and women, and the bicycle culture developed into a more common experience. This commonness signifies a culture nonetheless. The sixth component of automobile dominance, that of vast environmental resource consumption and the various forms of pollution associated with it, creates the most obvious distinctio n between the se two modes of auto mobility. The next chapter will discuss these differences in more detail, concluding that the bicycle is a more sustainable mode of auto mobility. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight that both modes are auto mobili ty. Both are distinct from other forms of transportation in that they mass transit, a person can get in a car or on a bike whenever they please and go, for all intents and purposes, anywhere. The automobile and the bicycle both developed initially as a luxury, available mainly to more affluent individuals and used primarily for recreational purposes. Once the respective utility of these vehicles was recognized, people be gan taking serious steps to develop convenient and practical infrastructures to support these mobilities. This similarity in their initiation into common use and the way they function within a similar system that system being auto mobility suggests tha t the bicycle has potential, as a mode of auto mobility, to serve as a logical alternative to the automobile. This is not to suggest the bicycle should be a replacement for car travel


29 However, as a mode of auto mobile transport, the bicycle still allows t he individual to remain within the system of auto mobility that has so strongly dominated transportation in the US over the past century. It is important to understand mobility histories as we continue to develop better, more sustainable transportation practices, policies, and infrastructure. Understanding how our relationship to current transport technologies began and changed over time, we can tackle the problem of sustainable transport comprehensively. By definition, sustainability is forward looking ; it seeks to sustain current resources, cultures, and environments for future generations. To do this, we must look at our current and past methods of resource consumption in this case, the consumption of mobility. We need this understanding of the past to rework our current behaviors and infrastructures and move toward a sustainable transport future.


30 Chapter Two: The Sustainability of Auto mobility The previous chapter discussed auto mobility as the dominant theme in the current transportation system. This chapter will discuss the sustainability implications of auto mobility, outlining what sustainability is and how the bicycle and the automobile, as modes of auto mobility, fare in meeting the requirements of a sustainable transportation system. One of the main tenets of a sustainable transportation system is the promotion of increased use of sustainable modes, such as the bicycle, but also the reduct ion of unsustainable modes, such as the automobile. In order to promote the bicycle, automobile travel must simultaneously be decreased. Promoting cycling, however, is no easy task, especially considering that the barriers associated with cycling largely r esult from over abundance of car traffic. Promoting cycling, for this reason, must consider a range of barriers 2.1 Sustainability, Sustainable Development, and Sustainable Transport ynonymous terms. The former refers to a set of principles, and the latter refers to a process. While no definitive list of sustainability principles is accepted some basic themes include responsibility, stewardship, interdependence, inter generationality, and equality. Sustainability proposes an equitable and ethical system of living, in which humans act in a way that does not harm or hinder others goal or endpoint of a process Diesendor f 2000, 11 )


31 Sustainable development deals with the application of these sustainability principles within the context of practical processes, such as manufacturing, tourism, forestry, urban development, and tran sportation ( Black 2002, xi). The most common definition of sustainable development comes from the 1987 Brundtland Report, written by the World Commission on Environment and Development. Here, sustainable development is ds of the present without compromising the ability of future ge refer only to economic growth, though; development also means improvement of existing systems and their interrelatio ns in order to enhance quality of life and create socia l l y environmental ly and economic ally sustainable human systems ( Diesendorf 2000 ). This emphasis on sustainable transport as a sub process of sustainable in other planning and development processes, specifically urban and environmental planning. That being said, the sustainable transport movement seeks to promote not only the use of sustainable modes of transport but also to challenge other development pra ctices that have created and are perpetuating a system dominated by the least sustainable and most ecologically damaging mode the automobile. A sustainable transport system, as a subset of sustainable development, can be defined by a simple rewording of the Brundtland Report's definit ion of sustainable development : a sustainable transport system meets the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs ( Richardson 2005, 30 ). This definition is ideal, as it avoids looking at transportation as a discrete system Rather, it considers transportation in


32 general not simply transportation needs. In other words, the needs satisfied by a transportation system ar e not solely transportation related as transportation effects economic activity, social interaction, and environmental conditions While there is no single definition of sustainable transport, scholars and planners tend to agree on similar pr i nciples, agendas, and policies (Broaddus 2011, 1). First, they emphasize low environmental impact, accomplished through the promotion of 'active' transport (walking and cycling), energy efficient vehicle technologies, mass transit, and car sharing programs. These specifics require less resource consu mption, less oil dependence, and less land space consumption than auto centric transport systems. Inherently, these elements require a shift in urban forms to accommodate these transport types, such as streets with slower traffic speeds, well designated bi ke lanes, and efficient cross walks. Additionally, urban forms that support sustainable transport modes tend to offer dense, mixed use development patterns. These urban forms, as they consume less land and require less expansive infrastructures for things like telephone and sewage lines, provide more sustainable urbanism. Second, sustainable transport advocates address issues of social equity related to transportation, involving issues of access and quality of life. Mobi lity should be available to all, whic h generally requires emphasis on multi modality. Not all people have access to cars, for instance, just as not all people are capable of riding a bike. Providing multiple options of mobility, then, offers mobility to various people in various economic and social situations. Third, sustainable transport advocates address the economic sustainability of transportation. This includes lessening dependence on foreign oil while simultaneously reallocating transportation funding in a way that does not disproportion ately favor the automobile.


33 In addition to these three tenets of sustainable transport environmental, social and economic sustainability another prominent commonality exists: the reduction of automobile use. Because of the dominance of the automobile it is not enough to simply promote sustainable transport modes. Promoting sustainable modes must occur in conjunction with a reduction of automobile use ( Tolley 2003, xv ). This is evidenced when considering that countries experiencing rises in sustainabl e transport modal shares still exhibit increases in projections of automobile usage ( Tolley 2003, xv ). T he benefits of increasing use of sustainable modes therefore, may be offset by the costs of continued automobile travel. In order to create a sustainab le transport culture, planners and policy makers must acknowledge that the current system is dominated by the least sustainable mode the automobile. Here, it will be useful to enumerate the negative externalities of car centered transport policies and a car dominated culture. These externalities show the need f or discouraging automobile use; one of the ways of doing so is through improving bicycle infrastructures, bicycle policy, and bicycle culture. 2.2 Automotive Externalities Environmental Impacts Transportation consumes more oil than any other human system (Wegener and Greene 2002, 37). In the US, 95% of the energy used in transport comes from petroleum, and transportation is the only sector whose demand for oil has increased over the pa st twenty years ( Wegener and Greene 2002, 37). Considering the threat of oil scarcity and


34 the recent increase in gas prices, this level of oil dependence could lead to economic and ecological disaster. Oil dependence also poses serious environmental hazar ds O il extraction devastates the ecosystems where drilling and mining take place as many of these areas provide important and irreplaceable carbon sink functions. Destroying these habitats thus further exacerbates climate change issues. T st existing carbon sink, the Boreal Forest in Canada, is slowly diminishing due to extraction of tar sands ( Kallick 2010 ). Oil dis tribution poses a threat as well as oil spills annually dump damaging marine and coastal environments ( Lowe 1990, 9). The automobile, through the incomplete combustion of all this petroleum, is the single largest produce r of air pollution in the world, accounting for nearly a quarter of total carbon emissions wo rldwide ( Lowe 1990, 9). Carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides (precursors to ozone, which is toxic to breathe), and global warming, cause acid r ain, and are a serious health concern when concentrated in urban areas ( Lowe 1990; Renner 1988; Wachs 2002, 19 21 ) Social and Economic Impacts Traffic congestion is also a major problem associated with widespread automobile use. In urban areas, studies have quantified the economic losses of traffic congestion in terms of higher freight costs and lost work time. In Britain, for instance, there is an estimated $24 billion loss each year due to traffic jam s ( Lowe 1990, 8). Traffic


35 congestion also affects employee performance, productivity, and morale ( Lowe 1990, 9). Furthermore, studies have shown increased blood pressure levels and aggressive tendencies in drivers during hours of peak traffic ( Lowe 1990, 1 1). Relatedly, automobile use jeopardizes road safety. In 2002, traffic fatalities accounted for 33% of all injury related deaths, as noted by the World Health Organization (World Health Report 2004 ). The WHO notes that road accidents are one of the top ten leading causes of death in the world ( World Health Organization 2011 ). In the (FARS), traffic fatalities in the US have been decreasing in recent years, desp ite an increase in total vehicle miles traveled ( 2009 ) This is most likely due to the recent adoption by all states (save New Hampshire) of primary or secondary safety belt use laws ( Governors Highway Safety Association 2011 ). Globally however, traffic f atalities are increasing, with developing countries experiencing road fatality rates 20 times higher than those of developed countries ( Lowe 1990, 11). The automobile also exaggerates social environmental inequities. Generally, those who produce enviro nmental degradation are not the ones most affected. Oil extraction, for instance, destroys the ecosystems of less developed countries that rely on oil exports to sustain their economies. Suburban housing also demonstrates transport equity issues. High inco me households generally use automobiles more often than lower income households and thus produce more greenhouse gas emissions, traffic congestion, and other automobile externalities. These high income households, however, tend to be situated in suburban a reas where they are cut off from these negative outputs of their automobile use (Wachs 2002, 24 25) ) captures


36 this effect well, demonstrating that groups who use highways and cars most often also have the most protection from the symptoms of excessive automobile use This describes a local equity imbalance, but also translates to the global scale. Developed nations, the high income households of the world, constitute the majority of the wo and therefore are the highest producers of automobile related pollutants. Considering that transport and mobility are linked with social and economic progress, developing nations have an equal right to demand increases in transpo rt and mobility. If developing nations were to engage in automobile use at an equal intensity as developed nations currently do the increase in worldwide fossil fuel consumption and pollutant emissions would be staggering ( Wegener and Greene 2002, 37). Th are growing twice as fast as those of the developed world ( Lowe 1990, 8). Urban Impacts The physical changes that resulted from automobile use are rooted in roa d infrastructure, specifically with respect to their impacts on development. Roads began to redefine urban landscapes in particular but their effects are seen in rural areas as well Prior to the automobile, urban and rural r egions were largely segregated Urban areas were dense and walkable, as the automobile did not dominate the streetscape of urban America. The car, by changing our concept of distance and travel in general, allowed for the creation of suburbia that gray area between urban and rural th at cannot be easily occupied without the transport abilities of the automobile. Suburbia has been largely


37 criticized as a wildly unsustainable community form, as it consumes vast amounts of land to create forests of single family homes, showing little rega rd for civic elements and a in mind. James Howard Kunstler, in his critique on suburban America titled Geography of Nowhere almost nothing in the way of civic features no town centers, squares, artful groupings of buildings to some social purpose, 2004, 56). This is in large part due to the lack of density and mixed use development that characterizes suburban residential areas. Kunstler describes the failings of the modern suburban street well as being a t least thirty six feet wide same as a country highway with generous turning radii. This makes it easy to drive well in excess of thirty miles an hour, a speed at which fatal accidents begin to happen. The perfect modern suburban street has no trees planted along the edge that might pose a hazard to the motorist incapable of keepi ng his Buick within the thirty six foot wide street. The street does not terminate in any fixed objective that might be pleasant to look at or offer a visual sense of destination no statues, fountains, or groves of trees. Such decorative focal points mig ht invite automotive catastrophe, not to mention the inconvenience of driving around them. With no trees arching over the excessively wide streets, and no focal points to direct the eye, and cars whizzing by at potentially lethal speeds, the modern suburba n street is a bleak, inhospitable, and 2004, 50). This demonstrates one of the main issues with automobile dominance, which is that the automobile excludes other modal choices. Walking and cycling in particular


38 become unsafe and impractical modes of transportation, considering that much of urban and transportation planning goes toward supporting automobile needs and infrastructure. The bicycle may have created the drive for increased road infrastructur e, but, in terms of road usage, currently takes a backseat to the automobile. The car has not replaced or disallowed cycling or walking, but its dom inance is palpable. Automobile use some sociologists and urban theorists argue, creates a self constructing system, differentiated from a mere system because of its exclusive quality ( Latimer and Munro 2006, 38). Cars exclude other forms of transport by making them unsafe or obsolete. This has occurred with active modes like walking and cycling in an obvious wa y. Car use allows for long distance travel that could not be accomplished by bike or on foot in a time efficient or practical way. Because of the availability of car use, urban areas become more and more sprawled, with urban centers that are less dense and in some areas even devoid of residential housing (though this is more common in where sprawl is more severe ). This type of form, then, requires and thereby increases car use. This leads to public road space being disproportionately designed to suit the community, which dominates discussion in planning meetings and which is the real focus Latimer and Munro 2006, 36). The street environment, then, becomes harsh for cyclists and pedestrians, who ha ve to negotiate their movements with those of passing cars. Pedestrians and cyclists are relegated to designated bike paths, sidewalks, and crosswalks that require often dangerous negotiations with cars and car drivers. Traffic accidents and traffic conges tion add to this harshness of urban street scapes. In creating these conditions the car makes itself necessary to navigate urban space as other modes become unsafe The exclusionary function of the automobile indicates the need to


39 incentivize reductions in car use while simultane ously incentivizing bicycle use, in conjunction with other sustainable modes, to create a sustainable transport system. 2.3 The Bicycle Supplement Cycling makes sense as an alternative and a supplement not necessarily a replacement for automobile travel. The bicycle, as a mode of auto mobility, provides many of the same transport possibilities as the automobile, such as door to door travel, flexibility in route choice (assuming there are multiple routes eq uipped for bicycle travel), and flexibility in transport time (when the rider decides to leave a destination, engage in transit). This makes the bicycle more similar to the automobile than to public transit, though public transit is also endorsed as a sust ainable transport mode. Culturally, the US has adopted auto mobility as the dominant auto mobile function is essential to its practicality as an alternative to the auto. Life cycle analyses of the bicycle indicate that the bicycle is the most environmentally sustainable form of vehicular travel, even as compared to other sustainable transport modes like public transit (Dave 2010, 11 ) Public transit, though also sustainable, remains a form of motorized transport. It cons umes energy for operation and requires significant raw materials and energy to produce its infrastructure. This infrastructure, and the transit vehicles themselves, are not inherently sustainable. Mass transit requires a minimum number of users in order to provide energy and resource efficiency. For instance, a bus running during non peak hours c an in fact be less fuel efficient than an automobile producing more pollutants and consuming more energy per


40 passenger ( Dave 2010, 11 ) This is not to say that the automobile is more sustainable than public and mass transit systems. It as the bicycle does not lose efficiency when operated during non peak hours; it does not require a large user base to be energ y and resource efficient. The bicycle itself requires low resource input production, as well as resources and energy required for bicycle manufacturing plant infrastructure s (Leuenberge r and Frischknecht 2010, 12 ). Bicycle road and parking infrastructure s also consume fewer resources and far less land than motorized transport (Leuenberger and Frischknecht 2010, 12) Often referred to as a zero emissions mode, no fossil fuels are required for the actual operation of a bicycle The idea of zero emissions life cycle analyses which go so far as to consider t he impact of increased calorie intake and increased carbon dioxide exhalations of bicyclists (Dave 2010) In addition to being a sustainable mode in and of itself, the bicycle also encourages more sustainable urban environments. Because they run on hum an power, bicycles can only feasibly be used for commutes and trips of a limited distance. This limitation encourages urban forms to be denser and offer more mixed use development, where the distance one must travel between work, home, and other leisure, c ivic, or business amenities is manageable This has come to fruition in Portland, with the first bicycle oriented development ( The Environmental Blog 2011 ). The concept of the BOD is similar to transit oriented developments, which provide access to public transit and increase transit ridership through construction of dense, mixed use urban forms The BOD emphasizes the same in terms of urban form, though it focuses more strongly on


41 access to bike infrastructure and increasing bicycle travel. Bicycles also contribute to sustainability by improving urban quality of life. Bicycles produce cleaner, less polluted, and safer urban environments. No noise or air pollution is emitted from bicycle use. Bicycles attenuate urban traffic congestion, a major and so metimes paralyzing concern in large cities. Furthermore, better bicycle planning and infrastructure can improve road safety, for motorized as well as non motorized vehicles ( Wittink 2003, 172). In places that exhibit an increase in bicycle travel, a decrea se in traffic fatalities and injuries is also shown ( Wittink 2003, 172). Overall, the bicycle contributes to le ss dangerous, less polluted, and more compact urban streetscapes, which together provide more livable cities. Cycling also offers a more econo mically sustainable and socially equitable travel choice. Bicycles are comparatively more affordable to both purchase and maintain than other modes of personal transport. Promoting bicycle infrastructure in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, for ins tance, allows feasible and safe personal transport for residents who would otherwise have to rely on public transport, unsafe bicycle conditions, or undue debts from purchase and use of an automobile that is made necessary in order to travel to work, schoo l, etc. Bicycle use saves money on gas, car payments, insurance payments, and potential monetary repercussions from traffic accidents. This extra income can then be spent within the local economy, with emphasis y bicycling or walking are limited in the distance they can or will travel to shops, restaurants, and other businesses. In Copenhagen, studies have shown that areas promoting active transportation in the form of walking and cycling experienced an increase in the number of total city residents and an


42 increase in the length of their residencies ( Gatersleben and Uzzell 2002, 137 ). In Germany and the UK, areas that emphasized walking and cycling plans showed increases in the number of shoppers in retail districts and overall improvement in health of town centers ( Gatersleben and Uzzell 2002, 137 ). Active transport or walking and cycling, can contribute to sustainable urban communities through supporting local businesses, rather than supporting business d istricts only practically accessible by automobile travel, such as strip malls. These latter types of business models are ecologically unsustainable, as they inefficiently consume land, space, and energy. Economically, a move away from car oriented deve lopment may cause concern over losing jobs that road construction and auto manufacturing provide ( Gatersleben and Uzzell 2002, 137). This seems narrow where prosperity and modernity are accompanied by less 85). Furthermore, the economic history of the bicycle shows the bicycle industry was once a powerful economic sector This is not to say that the bicycle industry could or will this point demonstrates t economic potential and the capacity for economic stability to exist apart from motorization. Bic ycling also promotes sustainability with its potential to improve personal health. Cycling offers the opportunity for d aily exercise and has been linked to decreased risk of obesity, heart disease, and other health issues ( Cavill 2003 ). A 2001 survey showed that 72% of respondents believed that driving did not contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle ( Forward 2003, 217), while one of the main benefits of cycling is increased health and fitness. Transportation is something humans do on a daily basis. To reintegrate


43 exercise into the act and concept of transportation could have a huge impact on personal health. This, in turn, pro vides economic and social benefits through reduced health care costs. The bicycle also promotes sustainability ideologically through increased awareness of energy production, consumption, and waste. Motorized transport is a relatively passive form of travel; the rider is carried and the energy requirements of travel are displaced onto the vehicle. Motorized travel, then, can seem effortless, making a process that actually requires a large amount of energy seem to require almost none at all. Riding a bi cycle, on the other hand, is an active, embodied experience in which the rider is directly expending the energy needed to travel. Bicycle infrastructure design considers this, suggesting that proper bicycle routes incorporate the fewest stops possible, as accelerating from a stationary position requires more energy than continuous movement ( Ploeger 2002, 270). Though b icycle riding will not necessarily turn an individual into an environmentalist, it does encourage a more intimate and physical understanding of energy use in the transportation process This understanding of energy could potentially lead to a life. To conclude, the bicycle offers an attenuation of seri ous societal issues caused or exacerbated by unsustainable transportation: congestion, pollution, climate change, social inequality, suburban sprawl, urban decay, and p oor health ( Horton et al. 2007, 7). These would seem to be reason enough for a significant modal shift. The automobile, however, dominates transportation politically and financially, and it will be difficult to affect a serious move away from the car. However, many nations, particularly more developed


44 nations, have already put cycling as a priority on their mobility agendas particularly Germany and the Netherlands and certain cities in the US Despite increased consideration for cycling within a transport planning perspective, significa nt growth in cycling activity has yet to occur ( Parkin et al. 2007, 67). In order to understand why this is so, a considerable amount of effort has gone into exposing the barriers to cycling. An understanding of why individuals do not initiate or sustain cycling activity makes up the base of cycling promotion research and much of bicycle advocacy in general. 2.4 Cycling Promotion : Considering the Barriers to Cycling More bicycles circulate in the global market now than ever before. Bicycle producti on outnumbers that of cars, with over 100 million bicycles produced worldwide in 2000 as compared to merely 40 million automobiles ( Horton et al. 2002, 4). Why, then, does such abundant bicycle ownership not translate into equally abundant bicycle use? This is a difficult question to answer, as it varies greatly depending on the specifics of the considered locality and its residents Despite the breadth of the matter some common barriers to cycling have been identified. These barriers are particularly important to consider, as a considerable amount of the energy that has gone toward improving bicycle facilities, infrastructure, and use has relied on oftentimes unfounded assumptions about ( Skinner and Rosen 2007, 84). The mindset, where creating more bicycle infrastructure is the target goal, disregarding the fact that more infrastructure is not better in frastructure. Giving more consideration to the


45 individual demands of bicyclists can produce better policy better infrastructure, and more use. One of the biggest barriers to cycling, as identified in surveys of non cyclists asking why they do not cycle is safety or lack thereof ( Skinner and Rosen 2007, 84 ; Parkin et al. 2007, 77 ). Cycling is still a very dangerous activity in many areas, particularly in the US, where cycling is ten times more likely to result in death than a cycling trip in Germany o r the Netherlands, where cycling is fairly common ( Komanoff and Pucher 2003, 458 ; Dill and Voros 2007, 10). In comparison to driving a car cycling is several times more dangerous and more likely to result in an accident ( Pucher et al. 1999, 4). Recently, however, there has been a slight decline in cycling fatality rates, coinciding with a slight increase in cycling activity ( Pucher et al. 1999 ). This supports the conclusion, often purported, that cycling safety increases as levels of cycling activity incre ase ( Komanoff and Pucher 2003 458; Skinner and Rosen 2007, 84; Turner et al. ). Not only does cycling safety increase as levels of overall cycling increase, but individual cyclists also record feelings of increased safety as they become more experienced cy clists ( Skinner and Rosen 2007, 85). effect on urban space, causing urban and suburban environments to become increasingly more sprawled, the length of travel distances ha s significantly increased. For many people, bicycling cannot accommodate these distance requirements. In a recent study of cycling barriers, the optimal trip distance for a cyclist was determined to be a little over 1 mile to slightly over 3 miles ( Parkin et al. 2007, 73). Moreover, research suggests that a large proportion of all journeys made lie approximately within this range ( Parkin et al.


46 2007, 84). According to the 2001 National Household Travel Survey, 60% of all personal trips (not commutes) cover less than five miles (US Department of Transportation 2001) Therefore, though distance may be a limiting factor for certain trips, particularly lo ng commutes, c ycling can present a viable transport option for many intercommunity journeys. Physical conditions, such as weather, topography, time of day, and season, also serve as potential barriers to cycling. These issues cannot be entirely solved t hrough infrastructure or planning policies, but certain practices, such as public transit that accommodates bicycles, can improve conditions fo r cyclists during poor weather (Dill and Voros 2007, 10) This highlights the benefits of the multi modal agenda within sustainable transport planning. Also, physical factors such as these should not be a reason for cities or regions to dismiss the possibility of cycling promotion in their areas. Cities such as Davis, Portland, and Minneapolis, for instance, experien ce relatively high levels of cycling despite cold and wet weather conditions ( Komanoff and Pucher 2003, 458 ; Goldschmidt 2009) The insufficiency of bicycling infrastructure is also cited as a major deterrent to bicycling in terms of convenience and com fort. In many areas, bicycle lanes are non connective, as lanes may stop abruptly. This requires a bicyclist to take initiative in predetermining routes that work, that are safe, and that minimize distance. All of this effort in route planning can lessen t he convenience of cycling as a modal option. Furthermore, studies have shown that infrastructure such as pavement condition, volume and speed of motor traffic, and lane width all heavily influence cycling comfort ( Dill and Voros 2007, 10.). Adequate and sa fe bicycle parking facilities, as well as institutional


47 facilities such as workplace showers, also contribute to a more comfortable bicycle infrastructure. The more comfortable a cycling experience is, the more likely an individual is going to maintain or initiate bi cycling as a means of transport. Individual factors also influence cycling propensity. Level of cycling experience, in particular, lowers the deterrent effect of many of the above mentioned barriers. Other socioeconomic and physical factors play a role, such as age, gender, employment status, income, and geographic location ( Skinner and Rosen 2007, 85). Some studies, however, have shown that socio economic demographics do not determine levels of cycling in a definable pattern ( Parkin et al. 2007, 74). Bicycling, because of its affordability, is often considered to be a mode used by lower income demographics. In recent years, however, there has been an increase in bicycling within more gentrified and higher income communities ( Parkin et al. 20 07, 74). A comparison of car ownership and cycling activity supports this. Households that own one car have been shown to be more likely to engage in bicycling than households that do not own a car, while households that own two cars are less likely to cyc le ( Parkin et al. 2007, 72). The long held assumption that car ownership in itself retards bicycle activity, therefore, can be done away with. Transport researchers have in fact identified car owners as the greatest potential market for cycling activity ( P arkin et al. 2007, 72). A discussion of cycling barriers often leads to the assumption that these barriers are static and unchangeable ( Skinner and Rose 2007, 85). Studies tend to show however, changing circumstances, such as age, residential location, level of cycling experience, and time of year. Some people bike more when they are young, and others take up biking as they age; some only bike in


48 cities while others only bike on suburban street s. In addition to these types of circumstances, c ultural norms surrounding transport, which largely influence cycling regional cycling levels, which also are not constant This dynamism in cycling level over time and circumstance shows that barriers to cycling, which often correlate with such circusmtances, also change. Conclusions Sustainable transport does not simply refer to specific modes that offer low environ mental impact. Instead, sustainable transport is a pro cess a sub process more specifically, within sustainable development. As a process, sustainable transport requires a similarly multivariate policy approach that simultaneously considers environmental social, and economic impacts of transportation technologies and their related infrastructures. For the automobile, these impacts are largely negative. Considering oil dependence, economic instability, traffic congestion, air pollution, environmentally de grading land use, social exclusion, pollution from associated industries, traffic fatalities, etc., it is easy to see that a system built to serve the automobile lacks intergenerational, local, national, and global sustainability. The bicycle, on the other hand, provides largely positive impacts. The bicycle promotes sustainable urban forms, thus creating a multiplier effect in terms of sust ainability. Additionally, the bicycle itself is considered a zero emission vehicle, lacking the environmentally degrad ing impacts seen with the automobile. The bicycle is affordable and accessible allowing for a more


49 socially inclusive and economically equitable transport system. A transportation system more reliant on bicycle travel, therefore, is one that is also more enforcing of the principles of sustainability To increase reliance on the bicycle, barriers to cycling must be considered. These were described as physical factors, subjective factors, and demographic factors. Physical factors depend on topography, cli mate, infrastructure, and urban form. Subjective factors, which understandably arise in response to these physical factors, include various attitudes about cycling: the dangers of cycling, the convenience and comfort of cycling, the distance one is willing such as age, gender, income, car ownership, and geographic location also play a role as these factors likely influence the daily lives and, therefore, the daily mobility needs of individual s In the next chapter, I will examine one demographic variable in particular gender that has the potential to be significantly predictive of cycling behaviors and tra nsport behaviors more generally.


50 Chapter Three : Gender and Sustainable Auto mobility 3.1 Literature Review Gender and Transport Transportation planning simultaneously influences and is influenced by the behaviors and demands of transport users. For instance, road infrastructure affects traffic congestion as equally as traffic congestion affects road infrastructure. Roads are often widened to ease congestion; wider roads, however, invariably lead to higher traffic capacity, eventually result ing in even higher traffic volumes. The same is true of bicycle infrastructure. Increasing capacity by providing more bicycle lanes typically results in increased bicycle use. Likewise increased bicycle use necessitates more bicycle lanes. Considering this mutual relationship between transportation planning and the demands of transport users, the need to understand the demands of all transport users becomes obvious. One particular and rather important group historically underrepresented in transport policy is women. Since the 1970s, critique s have produced a significant body of literature on gen der and mobility, stressing the differences in the way men and women travel ( Root et al. 2002 ). Some of the literature sustainable transport, are inextricably linked. B ot h attempt to deal with structural and institutional changes aimed at reducing gender discrimination (Zauke and Spitzner,


51 1997). The gender critique focuses on the limited scope of tr ansport policies, which disadvantage s women by underrepresenting their tra vel behaviors T raditional transport research predominantly focuses on the journey to work trip, ignoring various other trip types (Law 1999) This tends to over more journey to work trips than women, and thei r journey to work trips tend to be significantly longer. For example, according to the National Household Travel Survey less than 16% of stretch commuting is done by women ( US Department of Transportation 2001 tion of journey to work trips, as women make most of their trips for personal or social reasons, or to fulfill household responsibilities ( Root et al 2002; Lehner Lietz 2003, 124; ). These types of trips often differ from journey to work trips, as they are typically shorter and engage multiple modes of transport ( Lehner Lietz 2003 ). These trips also often involve the woman as chauffer, as women tend to be responsible for transporting children and the elderly ( Root et al. 2002, 150 ). Women also show a strong a strategy involving a string of trips made consecutively to save distance and time ( Root et al. 2002; Chowdhury 2011, 46 ). While these differences in trip type and purpose focus on gender, the focus on journey to wor k transport is not an inclusive approach to transport planning, regardless of gender Focusing primarily on journey to work travel unequally weights the demands of a particular group who, in this case, are usua lly men and usually employed. The gender blind critique, while it focuses specifically on the lack of representation of women, brings to light the larger issue of exclusion within transport planning. Even as women become more employed and the gender disparity in journey to work travel lessens, the iss ue still


52 stands that certain trip purposes and trip types are under represented. Sustainable transport principles advocate socially inclusive mobil ity; this should not stop with gender inclusion, though gender inclusive policies are an important step in th e process. Gender and Cycling: The Research Necessity R evealed difference s in transport behaviors stress the need for stronger consideration of gender in transportation research and policy. Transport literature suggests bicycling and other modes of non motorized transport are also underrepresented, as much of the above discussed research on travel behaviors looks primarily at motorized transport. Consequently, the nexus between these two research areas gender and bicycling is sorely overlooked ( Lehner Lierz 2003, 136). The creation of a sustainable transport system, which posits sustainable modal choices and social inclusivity as some of its main tenets, thus strongly urges development in this area of mobility research and policy. The import ance of this research area is further supported by trends, particularly in Europe, of correlations between gender and bi cycling numbers. Studies have shown that areas with higher bicyclist activity overall have higher female cycling activity and a more eve n distribution of male and female cyclists ( Smith 2005; Lehner Lierz 2003, 124). This is exhibited in a reverse sense in the US; bicycling makes up a significantly smaller proportion of modal share (all trips made) in the US, and cycling is far more common among men than women ( Pucher et al. 199 9 ). This leads to th e assumption that promoting cycling for women will increase cycling activity on an aggregate level. T o


53 promote cycling for women, research into their cycling behaviors and d emands is necessary. Gender and Cycling: The Research C ycling as a mode of transportation is relatively rare in the US, making up merely 0.4% of total trips ( Pucher et al. 1999 ). For this reason, cycling research tends to take on a promotional lens, mainly by focusing on understanding the behaviors, demands, preferences, and motivations associated with bicycling. The question to be answered here is why people do or do not bicycle. Several, often unquantifiable, often interdependent variables go into this decision making p rocess. Despite the difficulties in understanding motivations for cycling, some studies suggest gender may play a significant role in an decision to engage in bicycle transport This is not to say that all men and women will hold similar motiv ations for bicycling. However, cycling research does show that men and women do exhibit significantly different cycling behaviors, suggesting that they may also hold sign ificantly different motivations, demands, and preferences. In terms of actual cycli ng behavior, men cycle more than women. Men are more than twice as likely as women to travel by bicycle in the United States ( Pucher at al. 1999 ) Men are also more likely to bicycle to work or for recreation, while women are more likely to bicycle for pur poseful trips, such as trips to school, to run e rrands, or to a Differences in trip purpose for men and women potentially make women less likely to bicycle because of increased necessity of transport ing goods, children, an d the elderly tasks diffic ult to accomplish on a bicycle


54 Other research focuses not on the behaviors of actual bicyclists but on the preferences and motivations of non cyclist s or irregular cyclist s with the intent of understanding the barriers to cycling. This research has begun to focus specifically on women, who seem to experience stronger barriers to cycling activity considering the drastically lower proportion of female bicyclists. T hese barriers may be practical and physical barriers, su ch as distance, hilliness, wind, climate, etc. Other barriers rely more on emotional and non physical factors, such as safety concerns, social stigmas, demographic variables, etc One particular barrier to cycling, which is both physical and non physical, is safety. The safety of cycling is physical in the sense that there are actual risks involved. Technical cycling literature deals with the engineering and design elements that can attenuate these risks. Non technical cycling literature deals instead with safety as a non physical barrier as t he perception of risk, not necessarily the actual risks themselves, can dissuad e people from bicycle riding. This non physical aspect of safety is important to consider, as the perception of risk regardless of the ac tual risk of bicycling has been shown to produce a considerable barrier effect in the adoption of cycling transport (Parkin et al. 2007, 77) Some studies suggest women perceive cycling as less safe than men and also demonstrate higher demands for safe bicycle conditions ( Krizek 2004, 36) Stated preference research supports this G iven hypothetical route choices, women value safety and predictability in route choice, while men value efficient time or distan ce saving routes ( Root et al. 2002, 154; Krizek 2004 ). O ther studies done solely on women support these findings. In a survey of over 11,000 female US residents, women stated more


55 cycling infrastructure and safer infrastructure would lead to either increa sing or initiating cycling activity, specifically with a preference for separated cycle paths (Sibley 2010, 11). Separate d cycle paths, identified as Class I paths, are considered the safest option due to their separation from motor traffic (Pucher at al. 1999, 6) R esearch supports this proposition, showing that the only significant reduction of risk perception for cycling Past research shows some of the factors that serve as barriers to c ycling for women include: lack of confidence in knowledge of bike mechanics and cycling skills, lack of physical fitness and speed, lack of social support, heavy traffic, aggressive driving, and ability to access advice and assist ance in a male dominated f ield (Garrard 2005) All of these, in some sense, can be related to risk and risk aversion. Lack of support, in terms of social support or supportive and available cycling facilities, leaves cycling to be perceived as something that is abnormal; abnormalit y and, more broadly, the unfamiliar, tend to engender a sense of risk. L ack of confidence, experience, and prior knowledge in bicycle mechanics also contribute s to bicycling as being considered a risky activity (Garrard 2005) Moreover, cycling has been perceived as risky particularly for women because of the threat of physical or verbal street harassment (Goldschmidt et al. 2009, 5). There is considerable research suggesting women exhibit stronger tendencies toward risk aversive behaviors In dealing with risks, women tend to require more information in the decision making and are more conc erned with future consequences (Gupta at al. 2009, note 19). In general, t he literature on gender and risk aversion


56 suggests women possess a higher proclivity toward risk aversive behavior (Gupta et al. 2009; Root et al. 2002, 154; Cadsby and Maynes 2005 ). Therefore, t he research discussed may suggest that women cycle less than men because women perceive the risk of cycling to be greater. The research on cycling and safety perceptions tends to focu s on irregular and non cyclists Studies on the perception of the risk of cycling have shown that the sense of risk dramatically de creases as cycling experience increases ( Skinner and Rosen 2002, 85 ). It would be valuable, therefore, to research regular bicyclists, to see whether women and men who do bike regularly exhibit significantly different perceptions of the level of risk invol ved in cycling. If gender does have a significant effect on safety perceptions, this would imply a necessity for higher standards for infrastructure safety in order to provide satisfactory infrastructure for both men and women. However, if no correlation i s p erceived and men and women who bicycle regularly do not differ on perceptions of bike safety, this would suggest that efforts to decrease the cycling gender gap should focus on safety education and promotional programs, specifically for women, so as to increase their experience level and reduce their perceptions of cycling as risky. This would, assumingly, lead to increas es in bicycle activity among women. 3.2 Stated Preference Survey of Bicycle Safety Perceptions: Sarasota, FL This study focuses on gender differences in safety perceptions of regular cyclists in Sarasota, Florida It is hypothesized that there are ob servable differences in bicycle safety perceptions with women expected to perceive cycling as less safe than men. It is


57 also hypothesized that women will exhibit stronger preference for safety of route choice, given a hypothetical route selection. The res earch attempts to understand where differences exist and to explicate these differences in a way that will benefit future research and improve bicycle policy. An essential element to encouraging increased bicycle use for men or for women is to make bic ycling practical. Doing this largely depends on bicycling being safe and, almost as importantly, as being perceived as safe. 3.2.1 Methods Participants and Method of Survey Distribution This study sampled adults male and female w ho bike for either recreational or utility purposes in Sarasota, Florida. The survey was distributed online via email list servs to the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club and the Bicycle Pedestrian Advocates of Sarasota. Fliers advertising the survey were distr ibute d to Sarasota bike shops, which included Ryder Bikes, Tempo Cyclery, Sarasota Cyclery & Fitness, Village Bikes, and Peddlers. Surveys were also distributed in person by the researc her at the Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) bus transfer station in downtown Sarasota, where adults with bicycles ( either parked at the bus station or being removed from a bike rack on a researcher was removed from bus station property by law e nforcement for illegal solicitation, surveying continued on the adjacent sidewalk. This method of surveying was selected because it provided access to both recreational and utility bicyclists in Sarasota.


58 Of 77 total respondents, 68 completed the surve y in full. Ten of the surveys were collected from the SCAT transfer station, while the rest were collected online. Table 1 shows the demographic distribution of the sample population. Almost all respondents were white (92%) and over half were male (65%). T he sample as a whole was relatively old, with an average age of 55 ( M = 55.38, SD = 13.41199 ). The sample was also relatively well degree or higher. Nearly half (52%) of the sample reported either full or part time employment; retirees make up 39% of the sample, and 9% are unemployed. The survey, then, represents a mostly well educated population of older white males. Demographics Percentage of total population Number of Responden ts Gender : Males Females 65% 35% 44 24 Age : 20 29 30 39 40 49 50 59 60 69 70 79 4 4 10 19 21 10 Ethnicity : White African American Hispanic Multiple Races 92% 4% 3% 1% 63 3 2 1 Employment Status : Full time Part time Not employed Retired 14% 38% 9% 39% 11 29 7 30


59 Education Less than High School High school degree Some College Associate degree Bachelor degree Graduate degree 3% 7% 12% 7% 38 % 32% 2 5 8 5 26 22 Table 1: Survey Demographics Variables The study was designed to test gender as the dependent variable in relation to a range of independent variables, some of which were also tested for correlation The independent variables are as follows: Safety concern score : This score was determined by providing respondents with a list of 26 common safety concerns for bicyclists. Concerns were rated on a 1 5 Leichardt answers given were then assigned numerical values and added. This produced a safety concern score for each individual, with a higher score indicating an overall higher concern for safety. Examples of safety concern s listed include: distracted drivers, cars speeding, parked cars openin g doors in front of me, etc. Bicycle route preference : Respondents were asked to indicate which type of bicycle route they would prefer if given the choice of the following: sidewalk s, bike lane on the street, bike lane physically separated from the street (separated by a median or curb), streets (without bike lanes), recreational trails (non sidewalk). B ike lanes physically separated from the street and recreational trails were considered the safest


60 route choice, based on classification ratings for safety from Pucher et al (199). The next safest choice was considered bike lanes on the street, followed by streets without bike lanes. Sidewalks were considered the least safe. C omfort with bike mechanics : This variable was measured by two related questions. The first question asked how comfortable respondents felt, on a 1 5 Leichardt scale, changing a bike tire tube in the event of a flat. The second question asked how respondent s tune up their bikes: by themselves, by a bike shop or someone else, or not at all. Perception of Sarasota bicycling conditions : Respondents were asked to rate, on a 1 5 Leichardt scale, how safe and how convenient they perceive bicycling conditions i n Sarasota. Social support for cycling : This was measured based on how often respondents felt encouraged to bike by employers, other emplo yees, or friends/relatives. Bicycle frequency : This was measured on a 1 5 Leichardt scale, ranging from : for work, for s house), or for recreation. Quality of safety education received : This was measured on a scale from Accident history : Res pondents were asked to indicate if they had ever crashed due to collision with another bicyclist, pedestrian, or motorist, crashed due to road debris or other obstacles, or crashed to avoid collision with other road users or road obsta cles.


61 3.2.2 Results Almost all respondents indicated using a bicycle (93%) and an automobile (91%); however, the automobile (66%) was chosen as the mode used most often, followed by the bicycle (22%), walking (9%), and public transit and motorcycle ( 2%). Most (80%) of the respondents never bike to work, while a similar percentage (83%) indicated they bike for recreation once a week or more. Most of the respondents, then, are regular, recreational cyclists. The safety concern scores for the entire sample population were relatively normally distributed, with a mean score of 90.11 (St. Deviation = 15.96). The range of safety concern scores varied from 49 to 129, within a possible range of 26 to 130. The median of safety concern scores was 78, indicating that, on average, bicyclists in the sample population indicated above average safety concern scores. The mean score for males (M = 88.01364) was slightly lower than the mean score for females (M = 93.1667), thoug h this difference was not significant, based on a T test at the alpha .05 level: t(66) = 1.23, p < .2215 Table 2 shows the safety concern scores for men, women, and the total sample population. Figure 1 demonstrates the distribution of total safety concer n scores, which fairly resembles the normal distribution. Safety Concern Score Number of Respondents Mean Standard Deviation Males 44 88.1364 16.8255 Females 24 93.1667 14.5233 Total Population 66 90.1142 15.9551 Table 2: Safety Concern Scores: Means and Standard Deviations


62 Figure 1: Safety Concern Score Distribution Women showed statistically stronger safety concern on only 1 of the 26 safety concern variable s : 2.10, p < 0.0397). Four other safety concern variables very closely approached significance, each indicating females showed stronger safety concern spee the chance of at least some of the variables reaching or approaching significance may be attributed to a Type I error, or false positive. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 Number of respondents Safety Concern Score Safety Concern Score Distribution Men Women Total


63 Figure 2 shows each safety conc ern variable that makes up the safety concern score. Each variable was ranked on a 1 women, and the total sample. The larger the av erage for each variable, the stronger of a safety concern it was. Concerns tended to be higher with the earlier concerns listed, which focus more on drivers, traffic, and road conditions. Concern levels on the later tended to be lower, and these variables dealt more with safety concerns of the behaviors of other bicyclists and pedestrians.


64 Figure 2: Mean Scores for Individual Safety Concern Variables 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Getting a flat tire Other bicyclists not using lights at night Biking at night Biking in a dangerous neighborhood A car honking at me An animal harassing me A stranger verbally harassing me A stranger physically harassing me Other bicyclists riding in wrong direction Other cyclist getting too close to me Other bikers running lights/stop signs Taking right turn in intersection Going straight in intersection Taking left turn in intersection Pedestrians stepping in front of me Cars hitting me from behind Someone stealing my bike Cars running red lights/stop signs Roads with high traffic flow Trucks and buses Parked cars opening doors Cars turning right in front of me Roads with speed limits above 35 Cars speeding Debris on Road Distracted Drivers Safety concern score Safety concerns Mean score for each individual safety concern Mean for total sample Means for women Means for men


65 Gender had a significant effect on both bike maintenance variable s O ver half of the total sam ple changing a bike tube A T test analysis at the alpha .05 level showed a significant effect for gender with men reporting more comfort changing a tube than women : t (61) = 3.77, p < .0040 Table 3 shows the average comfort scores for changing a bike tube, with a higher score indicating higher comfort Comfort Changing a Tube Mean Score Standard Deviation Men 4.63 .89 Women 3.50 1.50 Total 4.23 1.25 Table 3: Average Comfo rt Changing Bike Tube Gender also had a significant effect in terms of bike tuning. A small percent of respondents (6%) indicated they do not tune their bikes at all, and these answers were excluded from the analysis. Of the respondents who indicated th ey do tune up their bikes, gender again had a significant effect based on a non parametric chi square test: chi square( df = 1, N = 64) = 8.9054, p = .0028 (with a phi coefficient of .3730, indicating a strong correlation). A parametric T test at the alpha .05 level also indicated significance, though the non parametric procedure was done to account for the unequal distribution of males and females (indicated through an equality of variance analysis). On average, men tune their bikes themselves more often than women, who get their bikes tuned either at a bike shop or by someone else. Additionally, of respondents who tune up their bikes, 43% tune their bikes themselves. This indicates men are more


66 comfortable with bike maintenance than women, and the sample as a whole is relatively comfortable with bike maintenance. Again, this indicates that the sample consists mainly of regular or experienced bicyclists. Figure 3: Comfort Changing a Bike Tire Tube Figure 4: Bike Maintenance Method by Gender 0 10 20 30 40 50 Very uncomfortable Somewhat uncomfortable Neutral Somewhat comfortable Very comfortable Number of respondents Level of cmofort Comfort Changing a Bike Tire Tube Total Sample Women Men 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 I get my bike tuned at a bike shop or by someone else I tune up my bike myself Number of respondents Method of bike maintenance Bike Maintenance Method by Gender Total Women Men


67 In a Spearman correlation test on gender, safety concern score, and the three bicycle frequency variables (work, purposeful trips, recreation), some significant results emer ged at the alpha .05 level. Table 4 reports these results, showing the Pearson correlati on coefficient (r, indicating the strength and direction of the correlation) above the probability (p). VARIABLES Safety Concern Score Gender Biking to Work Biking for Purposeful Trips Biking for Recreation Safety Concern Score 0.1678 0.1713 0.2182 0.0696 0.1718 0.1549 0.1736 0.1507 Gender 0.1721 0.1606 0.1657 0.1770 0.3070 0.0109* Work 0.3980 0.0004* 0.0262 0.8232 Purposeful Trips 0.2204 0.0575 Recreation Table 4: Spearman Correlation: Gender, Safety Concern Score, Bicycle F requency Gender had a significant effect on recreational biking frequency (r = 0.30696, p = 0.0109, n = 68), indicating men biked more frequently for recreation than women. A signi ficant positive correlation was shown between frequency of biking to work and frequency of biking for purposeful trips (r = 0.3980, p = .0004, n = 75), indicating that individuals who biked more frequently to work were also more likely to bike frequently f or purposeful trips. To verify significance, non parametric one way analyses were


68 conducted again due to unequal distributions of males and females in the sample. The non parametric analysis supported the previous result: gender had a significant effect o n the frequency of recreational biking, with men biking more often for recreation than women (chi square(df = 1, N = 68) = 6.3129, p = .0120). Some other correlations, though not significant, approached significance. Fr equency of biking for purposeful trips approached significant correlation with frequency of recreational cycling; individuals who biked more often for recreation were also more likely to bike more often for purposeful trips. S afety concern score approached significan ce when correlated with frequency of biking to work ; individuals who bike more frequently to work exhibited lower safety concern Bicycle frequency variables were also tested for significance with perceptions of both safety and convenience of bicycle con ditions in Sarasota, yielding no significance. Frequency of bicycle use for all trip types was also tested for correlation with the total safety concern score, indicating no significance. This indicates that bicycle frequency, or level of bicycle experienc e, had no significant effect on safety perceptions of cycling in general or of the perceptions of cycling safety and convenience in Sarasota specifically The survey population indicated that, on average, they felt the bicycle safety education they had M = 3.11, SD = .8879). This did not correlate with gender or total safety concern score. Over three quarters (77%) of the respondents indicated having experienced a bicycle accident. Neither gender nor safety concern score correlated w ith the accident history of the respondents. Similarly, no relationship was found between perception of safety (via total safety concern score) and route preference, or between route preference and gender.


69 3.2.3 Discussion The purpose of this research was to contribute to the understanding of the gender disparity in bicycling activity, as men are more than twice as likely as women to use a bicycle for transportation in the US. Though various factors are likely involved, this research focuses sp ecifically on gendered differences in safety perception as an explanation for the gender gap in cycling. The hypothesis suggest s that women bike less than men, and that women view cycling as less safe. The hypothesis also suggests women, assumed to view cycling as less safe, would have higher demands for the safety of bicycle infrastructure indicated by stronger preference for the safest route when provided with a list of route options. The results of the survey showed that gender had no signific ant effect on perceptions of bike safety in the sample in terms of overall bike safety and in terms of the perception of safety specific to biking in Sarasota. Gender also had no significant effect on demands for safe bike infrastructur e, as women did not prefer the safer route choice (bike lane physically separated from the street) significantly more than men. The results, therefore, do not support the hypotheses. A main limitation of the study is apparent in the connection between the hypothesis and t he sample population. The sample population consisted mainly of older males who regularly bicycle, mostly for recreation. The sample, then, consists of r elatively experienced bicyclists Previous research has shown that more experienced


70 cyclists view cycli ng as safer than less experienced cyclists. It could be assumed, then, that a group of cyclists with a similar level of experience, that level being relatively high would not differ particularly strongly on their perceptions of safety. In order to account for the effect of bicycle experience level, irregular and non cyclists should have also been surveyed. Despite this being a limitation in hindsight the research initially intended to target regular cyclists The reason for this was the desire to unde rstand how individuals familiar with the actual experience of bicycling felt about that experience Surveying irregular or non cyclists would have, instead, depicted how cycling safety is perceived in the abstract, or how cycling safety is perceived by tho se who are not familiar with the actualities of bicycling experience Surveying less experienced cyclists would be aimed more at understanding safety perceptions and risk aversion as barriers to the promotion of cycling Studying these types of barriers ha s implications for where to target promotional programs, such as institutional programs that seek to encourage cycling activity in schools or in the workplace If gender has a significant effect on the safety perceptions of irregular and non cyclists, as p revious research suggests is the case, this would imply that these promotional programs should be targeted more strongly and more directly to women as increasing bicycle familiarity among women would increase experience levels, lower risk perceptions, and potentially lead to increased bicycle activity Studying the effect of gender on safety perceptions of the regular bicyclist, on the other hand, deals less with safety as an barrier to initiating cycling. Rather, studying the regular cyclist deals wit h perceptions of risks of actual conditions. The implic ations of gender having a significant effect on safety perceptions of regular cyclists would imply


71 necessity for actual infrastructure and design changes. For instance, if regular female bicyclists vie w cycling as significantly riskier than regular male bicyclists, this would indicate that certain physical road conditions and infrastructures are disproportionately dissatisfactory for one gender On the other hand, if female non cyclists view cycling as significantly less safe than male non cyclists, this would imply that it is the perception of risk that is the barrier not necessarily the actual conditions Studies have shown that perception s of cycling risk decreases significantly as experience incr eases. This study somewhat supports this notion of experience level as correlated with safety perceptions. The results showed a slight, though not statistically significant, trend in which individuals who bike more often do not have as strong of safety concerns as individuals who bike less often. The study did provide some other interesting findings. Gender had a slightly significant, though not statistically significant, effect on the frequency of recreatio nal biking, showing men bike more often for recreation than women. This is consistent with earlier research suggesting men are more likely to cycle for recreation. Gender also had a significant effect on c omfort with bike mechanics This too, support s previous studies which indicated that women indicated a lack of knowledge or skills with mechanics as being a strong barrier to cycling. The study also indicated that frequency of biking to work and for purposeful trips was correlated, indicating t hat individuals who used a bike to commute were also likely to use a bike for purposeful trips. This seems intuitive as both of these trip types fall under the category of utility cycling However, it shows that recreational cycling and utility cycling do not necessarily correlate. Future research should take into account that


72 recreational and utility bicyclists may have different demands preferences, and motivations for cycling The survey also shows that there were nearly twice as many men bicyclists in the sample as estimated, the gender disparity shown in the survey data being a nearly 2:1 ratio in favor of men, can reasonably lead to the assumption that fewer women bike in Sa rasota than men. A major limitation of the survey was that the population of bicyclists surveyed is not represent ative of bicyclists in Sarasota, as i t is not a random sample of the entire population of bicyclists in Sarasota. To do this would have required a random representative sample of residents in Sarasota to be surveyed, then including only respondents who indicated regular bicycle activity. For the purposes of this thesis and in order to get a large enough sample size, the survey could not be representative. To survey a representative sample of bicyclists in an area is difficult, as not all bicyclists are members of bike related clubs or organiza tions. Individuals who bicycle mainly for commuter and utility trips are particularly hard to survey, as bicycle related organizations tend to be more geared toward recreational activities. That being said, the survey cannot be used for inferential statist ics and the results cannot be generalized to a larger population. Rather, the results are confined to being a description of this specific sample population. A nother limitation of the study resulted in a potentially misleading question. In asking for pre ferred route choice, the safest option was considered to be bike lanes physically separated from the street (by a curb or median). This type of route is almost


73 entirely non existent in Sarasota. In designing the question, this was considered. It was assume d that respondents would understand the question to be a hypothetical and that the route choice did not need to actually be available in Sarasota. However, several respondents indicated, in the other category, that this type of route did not exist in Saras ota. If this survey were to be repeated it should target a broader range of cyclists, in terms of how experienced the bicyclists are and for what purposes they use their bicycles. This survey, to some degree, represented commuter and utility cyclists, as the individuals surveyed at the SCAT transfer station indicated using their bicycles primarily for transportation and not as often for recreation. This was possible to determine only because these surveys were given in person and a record was kept of t he total survey respondents from this area ( 10 surveys). In the future, a comparative analysis could be beneficial, looking at the safety perceptions of men and women recreational cyclists as compared to men and women utility cyclists. F uture research c ould, alternatively, focus on the same population of regular, recreational cyclists though with a different goal Rather than attempting to un derstand perceptions of safety the goal would be to understand what would motivate regular, recreation al cyclists to increase or begin bicycling for utility trips Promoting utility cycling is not only a bicycle promotion strategy but also an automobile reduction strategy. This would promote the sustainable transport more comprehensively, as sustainable tran sport simultaneously seeks to increase the use of sustainable modes while decreasing the use of unsustainable modes. U nderstanding this information could also be useful because these cyclists regular, recreational cyclists a re already experienced;


74 the ir perceptions of the risks of cycling would tend to be lower than non cyclists. This would allow for an explication of the non risk related barriers to utility cycling, as risk would assumingly be less of a concern and les of a barrier, for already exper ienced cyclists. Another area of future research may be to focus more specifically on multi modal sustainable transport users : individuals who chain bike and public transit into one trip. This demographic was somewhat represented in this survey by the i ndividuals surveyed at the SCAT transfer station as they used both a bike and the bus The demands and preferences of this group seem particularly interesting within a discussion of sustainable transport, considering the emphasis sustainable transport put s on multi modality. Multi modality does not refer solely to the discrete existence of multiple mode options. Rather, it refers also to the combination of multiple modes into one or more trips. Ostensibly, this demographic of multi modal bicyclists could p rovide information regarding how the combination of two sustainable modes the bike and public transit is used, and what some potential improvements might be.


75 C onclusion s traffic is neither the equivalent of nor identical to mobility. Quite the contrary: many people find that their personal mobility is, in fact, restricted by vehicular traffic not at all by the mobility of pedestrians, not very much by cyclists but quit e seriously by motorists and the effects of traffic planning and policies fixated on the automobile. In many cases reducing vehicular traffic Zauke and Spit zner, 1997 Transportation systems did not develop overnight, and they were not created outside of a social context. Transportation technologies have a long history, as various vehicles have been introduced to society and either rejected or integrated. Th e two technologies discussed in this thesis the automobile and the bicycle share an interestingly linked history. Recognizing thei r similarities, and their differences, is essential for a move toward a sustainable transport system Much of this thesis focuses on the development of the bicycle as a transport technology, showing that the bicycle was once a practical and popular means of transportation. Understanding the reasons the bicycle rose to prominence helps answer the question of the subsequent pro minence of the automobile. This is due to fundamental similarities in mobility ideology offered by each mode namely auto mobility, as well as fundamental differences in mobility actualities, such as capacity for distance, speed, and transportability of go ods


76 Bohm et al. 2006, 6 ). These infrastructures roads, highways, insurance companies, automobile manu facturers were and are largely subsidized, keeping their true costs hidden from public view. With the support of such subsidization, the automobile has taken command of the public street and, consequently, public planning. Unfortunately, the car, not the urban community, tends to be the main focus of urban and transportation planning agendas ( Latimer and Munro 2006, 36). The automobile, in its control of the street, creates an exclusive effect insofar as it excludes other modal choices, making them generally impractical, and often dangerous. being a pedestrian or a bicyclist on a road with high traffic flows and high speeds is, at best, unsettling. Herein lies the problem for sustainable transport planning. The bicycle, as described in this thesis, is the most sustainable mode of vehicular transport. Its proportion of total modal share, however, remains low. This is due partly to a combination of infrastructural limitations, such as low funding for bicycle facilities, low priority in transport and urban planning agendas, and limited available infrastructure. These infrastructural limitations, then, translate into experiential limitations for the b icyclist: non contiguous route systems, unmaintained routes, lack of bicycle parking facilities, and the various dangers of bicycling in and alongside motorized traffic. The goal of this thesis was not to critique existing bike infrastructures. These ar e technical issues best left to traffic and transport engineers. The goal of this th esis was to


77 provide some contribution to cycling research. I chose specifically to focus on the potential for gender to be a predictive, or at least useful, variable in det ermining the demands and preferences of bicyclists. This consideration of gender emphasizes that mobility is largely a social phenomenon. Transportation systems operate for the users, not the other way around. A consideration of the demands of the user is instrumental in creating a system that is functional, practical, and usable. Often times, considerations of transport users are limited insofar as they consider the demands and needs of only certain groups. This thesis argues that women have largely bee n underrepresented in transportation policy and planning, and that satisfying their preferences has enormous potential for improving the utility of bicycle infrastructure. In areas where the gender gap for b icycling activity is relatively low, bicycling te nds to make up a higher proportion of total modal share, suggesting that increasing utility of bicycling for women is necessary to increase overall bicycling levels In terms of improving utility, the focus here was on the necessity of increased safety. To do this, a survey was administered that examined the perceptions of safety for male and female cyclists. It is important to emphasize again that the survey deals with perceptions of safety, not with the actual or measurable safety of the infrastructure The survey found that, among the male and female bicyclists surveyed, gender had no significant effect on safety perceptions of bicycling. Though this does not support the initial hypothesis that women would perceive cycling as less safe than men, it does provide some useful suggestions for future research and policy. Future research would do well to focus on the relationship between gender and safety perceptions for regular, irregular, and non cyclists. Previous research has examined the effect of exp erience level


78 on perceptions of safety, though not on the perceptions of safety as compared by gender. If, as this study suggests, male and female regular cyclists experience no significant difference in safety perceptions, but significant differences exis t for male and female non cyclists or irregular cyclists, this would imply a need to focus promotional programs and biking incentives towards women.


79 Appendix 1: Bicycle Transportation Survey ransportation Survey Dear Participant: This surve y i s bein g conducte d o n bicycl e trave l behavior s an d bicycl e safet y concern s o f resident s i n th e Sarasot a area. It should take approximately 5 1 5 minute s t o complete dependin g o n you r answers Ther e i s n o compensatio n for responding, nor is there any known risk. Al l informatio n wil l remai n confidential N o identifyin g informatio n wil l b e collected suc h a s you r name emai l address or IP address. All data is stored in a password protected electronic format. Copie s o f th e fina l thesi s wil l b e publishe d unde r m y nam e an d reviewe d b y a Baccalaureat e committe e a t Ne w Colleg e of Florida Th e publi c wil l hav e acces s t o th e fina l thesi s throug h th e Ne w Colleg e thesi s database. If you choose to participate in this survey, please answer all questions as honestly and thoroughly as possible. Participation is strictly voluntary, and you may refuse to participate at any time by exiting the survey. Than k yo u fo r takin g th e tim e t o participat e i n thi s survey Th e dat a collecte d wil l provid e usefu l informatio n regarding bicycl e polic y i n Sarasota. Sincerely, Devin Frechette 8139005610 I f yo u requir e additiona l informatio n o r hav e question s o r comments fee l fre e t o contac t m e b y emai l o r phone. 1. Do you consent to participate in this survey? Yes, I consent to participate. No, I do not consent to participate. 2. What modes of transportation do you use in Sarasota (check all that apply). Automobile Motorcycle Bicycle Public Transit Walking Other (please specify):


80 3. Which mode of transportation do you use most often in Sarasota? Automobile Motorcycle Bicycle Public Transit Walking 4. How would you describe your current employment status? Employed, part time Employed, full time Not employed Retired Disabled, not able to work Other (please specify): 5. About how many miles is your home from your work? (If you have more than one job, fill in the appropriate spaces. You can leave the answer blank if you are not employed or if you work from home.) Miles (first job) ________ Miles (second job) ________ Miles (third job) ________ 6. How often do you use a bicycle to get to work? Everyday 2 3 times per week Once a week Once every two weeks Once a month Never Other (please specify): 7. How often do you use a bicycle to make purposeful trips (such as trips to school, the store, a friend's house, or a restaurant)? E veryday 2 3 times per week Once a week Once every two weeks Once a month Never Other (please specify): 8. How often do you ride a bicycle for recreation? Everyday 2 3 times per week Once a week


81 Once every two weeks Once a month Ne ver Other (please specify): 9. Which type of route do you bike on most often? Sidewalks Bike lanes on the street Bike lanes physically separated from the street (separated by a median or curb) Streets (without bike lanes) Recreational trails (non sidewalk) I do not bike Other (please specify): 10. If you could choose from any of the following, which type of bicycle route would you prefer to use? Sidewalks Bike lanes on the street Bike lanes physically separated from the street (separa ted by a median or curb) Streets (without bike lanes) Recreational trails (non sidewalk) I do not bike Other (please specify): 11. What is the farthest distance you would feel comfortable riding a bike to work? Less than 1 mile 1 2 miles 2 3 miles 3 4 miles 4 5 miles 5 10 miles More than 10 miles I would not ride a bike to work 12. What is the farthest distance you would feel comfortable riding a bike for purposeful trips (like trips to the store, a friend's house, or a restauran t)? Less than 1 mile 1 2 miles 2 3 miles 3 4 miles 4 5 miles 5 10 miles More than 10 miles I would not ride a bike to work


82 13. What is the farthest distance you would feel comfortable biking for recreation? Less than 1 mile 1 5 mile s 5 10 miles 10 30 miles 30 50 miles Over 50 miles I would not ride a bike recreationally 14. How often do you feel encouraged to bike by your EMPLOYER? Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never I am unemployed I work from home Other (please specify): 15. How often do you feel encouraged to bike by other EMPLOYEES? Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never I am unemployed I work from home Other (please specify): 16. How often do you feel encouraged to bike by FRIENDS or RELATIVES? Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never I am unemployed I work from home Other (please specify):


83 17. The following is a list of common safety concerns for bicycle u sers. How strong are each of these safety concerns for you? Very Strong Concern Strong Concern Moderate Concern Weak Concern Very Weak Concern 1. Distracted drivers 2. Debris on road 3. Cars speeding 4. Roads with speed limits above 35 5. Cars making a right hand turn in front of me 6. Parked cars opening doors in front of me 7. Trucks and buses 8. Roads with high traffic flow 9. Drivers running red lights and/or stop signs 10. Someone stealing my 11. Cars hitting me from biking 12. Pedestrians stepping out in front of me 13. Taking a left turn through an intersection on my bike 14. Going straight through an intersection on my bike 15. Taking a right turn at an intersection on my bike 16. Other bicyclists running red lights / stop signs 17. Other bicyclists getting too close to me 18. Other bicyclists riding in the wrong direction 19. A stranger physically harassing me 20. A stranger verbally


84 harassing me 21. An animal harassing me 22. A car honking at me 23. Biking through a dangerous neighborhood 24. Biking at night 25. Other bicyclists not using lights at night 26. Getting a flat tire 18. If you have any specific safety concerns not mentioned, please list them here: 19. How often do any of the above safety concerns stop you from riding a bicycle? Always Often Sometimes Rarely Never I do not ride a bicycle (for reasons other than safety concerns) Other (please specify) : 20. When riding a bicycle, have you ever (check all that apply): Collided with a motor vehicle Collided with another bicyclist or pedestrian Crashed to avoid a motor vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian Crashed due to debris, potholes, or other ob stacles Other (please specify if you have had any other bicycle related crashes): 21. If you got a flat tire, how comfortable would you feel changing the tire's tube? Very comfortable Somewhat comfortable Neutral Somewhat uncomfortable Very u ncomfortable Other (please specify): 22. How do you tune up your bike? I tune up my bike myself


85 I get my bike tuned at a bike shop or by someone else I never tune up my bike Other (please specify): 23. H ow would you rate the bicycle safety education you have received? Excellent Good Average Poor I have never received bicycle safety education Other (please specify): 24. How safe would you rate bicycle conditions in Sarasota? Very safe Somewhat safe Neutral Somewhat unsafe Very unsafe I do not bicycle in Sarasota Other (please specify): 25. How convenient is it for you to bicycle in Sarasota? Very convenient Somewhat convenient Neutral Somewhat inconvenient Very i nconvenient I do not bicycle in Sarasota Other (please specify): 26. Do you feel that riding a bicycle is much safer than driving a car. somewhat safer than driving a car. about as safe as driving a car. somewhat less safe than driving a car. much less safe than driving a car. Other (please specify): 27. How old are you? _____ 28. What is your gender? Male Female Other


86 94305) ____________ 3 0. What is your ethnicity? White or Caucasian Black or African American American Indian or Alaskan Native Asian Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Hispanic / Latin American From multiple races Other (please specify): 31. What is the high est level of school you have completed or the highest degree you have received? Less than high school degree High school degree or equivalent (e.g., GED) Some college but no degree Associate degree Bachelor degree Graduate degree


87 Appendix 2: Bicycle Transportation Survey Recruitment Flier SARASOTA BICYCLE SAFETY SURVEY Express your views on bicycle safety in Sarasota Survey can be found online at: If you are a resident of Sarasota and want to express your opinion on bicycle safety please visit the above web address to take a short survey (5 15 minutes) regarding your bicycle safety concerns and bicycle travel in Sarasota. The information collected from this survey will be presented in a New College undergraduate thesis and will ser ve as a resource for improving area bike policy. Your time and opinions are much appreciated! Survey administrator can be reached by phone or email at: 813 900 5610


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