ITS-Davis researcher explains ‘Why I bicycle but my neighbor doesn’t’

In the journal Access, ITS-Davis researcher Susan Handy writes:

“Pick a city, any city in the US, and then pick a house within that city. Open the door of its garage and you’re likely to find a bicycle. Chances are good that it is covered with dust or has a flat tire. If not, and if its owner has in fact used it any time recently, odds are the purpose was exercise or recreation.

Compare this to a garage, any garage, in Davis, California. Inside you’re likely to find several bicycles—more bicycles, perhaps, than people living in that house. In all probability, one or more of those bicycles is used at least weekly, not for exercise or recreation but for transportation—to get the rider to work, school, the store, a restaurant, or another destination in town.

Davis is one of the few places in the US where bicycling is a substantial mode of transportation. With the goal of helping other communities in their efforts to promote this low-cost, low-polluting, health-promoting mode, my students and I have undertaken a series of studies over the last five years to understand bicycling in Davis.”

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Photo: The Sacramento-Davis commute on I-80 (Sylvia Wright – UC Davis)