2013 - Research

Environmental and Demographic Correlates of Bicycling

OBJECTIVE: The present study examined correlates of bicycle ownership and bicycling frequency, and projected increases in cycling if perceived safety from cars was improved.

  • METHODS:
    • Participants were 1780 adults aged 20-65 recruited from the Seattle, Washington and Baltimore, Maryland regions (48% female; 25% ethnic/racial minority) and studied in 2002-2005.
    • Bicycling outcomes were assessed by survey.
    • Multivariable models were conducted to examine demographic and built environment correlates of bicycling outcomes.
    • RESULTS:
      • About 71% of the sample owned bicycles, but 60% of those did not report cycling.
      • Among bicycle owners, frequency of riding was greater among young, male, White, educated, and lean subgroups.
      • Neighborhood walkability measures within 1km were not consistently related to bicycling.
      • For the whole sample, bicycling at least once per week was projected to increase from 9% to 39% if bicycling was safe from cars.
      • Ethnic-racial minority groups and those in the least safe neighborhoods for bicycling had greater projected increases in cycling if safety from traffic was improved.
      • CONCLUSION: Implementing measures to improve bicyclists' safety from cars would primarily benefit racial-ethnic groups who cycle less but have higher rates of chronic diseases, as well as those who currently feel least safe bicycling.

Sallis, J. F., Conway, T. L., Dillon, L. I., Frank, L. D., Adams, M. A., Cain, K. L., & Saelens, B. E. (2013). Environmental and demographic correlates of bicycling. Prev Med. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.06.014