April 8, 2011

How Do People Choose a Travel Mode? Factors Associated with Routine Walking & Bicycling

Time

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m

Location

1065 Kemper Hall, UC Davis

Speaker(s)

Robert J. Schneider, Ph.D. Candidate, UC Berkeley Department of City and Regional Planning UC Berkeley Safe Transportation Research & Education Center (SafeTREC)

Abstract

Walking and bicycling are being promoted as transportation options that can increase the livability and sustainability of communities, but the automobile remains the dominant mode of transportation in most metropolitan regions in North America. In order to change travel behavior, researchers and practitioners need a greater understanding of the mode choice decision process, especially for walking and bicycling. This presentation will summarize dissertation research on factors associated with walking and bicycling for routine travel purposes, such as shopping. More than 1,000 retail pharmacy store customers were surveyed in 20 San Francisco Bay Area shopping districts in fall 2009, and 26 follow-up interviews were conducted in spring and summer 2010. Mixed logit models showed that walking was associated with shorter travel distances, higher population densities, more street tree canopy coverage, and greater enjoyment of walking.

Bicycling was associated with shorter travel distances, more bicycle facilities, more bicycle parking, and greater enjoyment of bicycling. Respondents were more likely to drive when they perceived a high risk of crime, but automobile use was discouraged by higher employment densities, smaller parking lots, and metered on-street parking.

Interviews provided the foundation for a five-step theory of how people choose travel modes. Walking and bicycling could be promoted within each step: awareness and availability (through individual/social marketing programs), basic safety and security (through pedestrian and bicycle facility improvements and education and enforcement efforts), convenience and cost (through higher-density, mixed land uses and limited automobile parking), enjoyment (through street trees and supportive culture), and habit (through providing information during key life changes).

Biographical Sketch

Robert Schneider is Ph.D. Candidate in the UC Berkeley Department of City and Regional
Planning and a researcher at UC Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC). Over
the past decade, Robert has managed multiple pedestrian and bicycle plans as a project manager for Toole Design
Group, served as the principal investigator for FHWA’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Data Collection in United States
Communities: Quantifying Use, Surveying Users, and Documenting Facility Extent, and been the lead author
on several pedestrian and bicycle planning and safety studies published in Transportation Research Record. At
SafeTREC, he has led the Alameda County Pedestrian Counting, Modeling, and Risk Analysis Study, assisted
with the San Francisco Bay Area Pedestrian and Bicycle Count Program, and helped develop an intersection
pedestrian volume model for San Francisco. He also developed and teaches the graduate level Pedestrian and
Bicycle Transportation course at UC Berkeley and is the Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Pedestrian
Research Subcommittee.

Robert Schneider is Ph.D. Candidate in the UC Berkeley Department of City and Regional Planning and a researcher at UC Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC). Over the past decade, Robert has managed multiple pedestrian and bicycle plans as a project manager for Toole Design Group, served as the principal investigator for FHWA’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Data Collection in United States Communities: Quantifying Use, Surveying Users, and Documenting Facility Extent, and been the lead author on several pedestrian and bicycle planning and safety studies published in Transportation Research Record. At SafeTREC, he has led the Alameda County Pedestrian Counting, Modeling, and Risk Analysis Study, assisted with the San Francisco Bay Area Pedestrian and Bicycle Count Program, and helped develop an intersection pedestrian volume model for San Francisco. He also developed and teaches the graduate level Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation course at UC Berkeley and is the Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Pedestrian Research Subcommittee.