Perceptions of the bicycle as a daily mode of transportation: A study of Iowa State University

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Date
2023-12
Authors
Tafazzoli, Romina
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Das, Biswa
Basmajian, Carlton
Smadi, Omar
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Community and Regional Planning
Abstract
In modern urban settings, the pursuit of speed and convenience has inadvertently led to choices with long-term ramifications, encompassing issues from climate change and pollution to health concerns like diabetes and obesity. The bicycle, a compact and active means of transportation, has emerged as a renewed solution amidst these challenges. Notably, college towns with youthful populations near educational institutions have become champions of bicycle prioritization. Ames, a college town in Iowa with about 30,000, reflects this trend. While Ames has a commendable portion of cyclists commuting to work or school, comparable college towns exhibit higher cycling rates. This study aims to decipher the factors influencing bicycle usage and perceptions in Ames. Utilizing quantitative and qualitative data, the findings indicate that the socio-economic characteristics of bicycle users do not hinder bicycle use in Ames. Instead, the primary impediment is the absence of well-defined and safe bike lanes. The study suggests pragmatic solutions, including replacing outdated signage with more conspicuous linear markers for bike lanes and fostering collaborative decision-making for more unified and quality bicycle infrastructure. Moreover, advocating for social programs that enhance greater understanding among diverse transportation users presents an avenue to enhance the cycling experience in Ames.
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