National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior: Volume 1: Summary Report [2008]
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National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior: Volume 1: Summary Report [2008]

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior: Volume I: Summary Report ; Volume I: Summary Report: National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior [TRDP title] ;
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      Final report
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    • Abstract:
      This report presents findings from the National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior, jointly sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and administered by The Gallup Organization. The goals of the survey were to ascertain the scope and magnitude of bicycle and pedestrian activity and the public’s behavior and attitudes regarding bicycling and walking. This report, Volume I: Summary Report, provides a top line summary of key data results regarding the behaviors and attitudes on various topics related to walking and bicycling including reported frequency of walking and bicycling during the summer months, trip purpose and characteristics, perceptions of safety, safety practices, facilities available and community design. Volume II: Findings Report presents a detailed analysis on these topics. Volume III: Methods Report describes the methods used to conduct the interviews and analyze the data. It also contains a copy of the questionnaire. The data come from a survey conducted among a representative sample of 9,616 U.S. residents age 16 and older during the Summer of 2002. The survey findings show that slightly less than half (46%) of those 16 and older have regular access to a bicycle, with access increasing with increases in household income. About 43 percent ride a bicycle at least once in the summer months, making an estimated 2.484 billion trips during the summer of 2002. Bicycling declines with age, with those under 20 most likely to bicycle and doing so more frequently, while the majority over 45 did not bicycle during the summer months. The majority of bicycling trips were for recreation or for exercise, while just one in 5 trips were made to conduct errands (14%) or for commuting to work or school (5%). About half of all trips (48%) were made on paved roads. An additional 13 percent were on shoulders of paved roads, and 5 percent on bike lanes on roads. One in 7 was made on sidewalks (14%) or bike trails/paths (13%). Only half (50%) of bicyclists say bike paths are available in the area they ride, while 32 percent say bike lanes are available. However, over half of those who do not use available bicycle paths or lanes say they don’t use them because they are not convenient, available, or go where they need to go. More than one in 10 bicyclists (13%) felt threatened for their personal safety on the most recent day they rode their bicycle in the past 30 days in the summer of 2002, with 88 percent of these feeling threatened by motorists. One in 5 bicyclists rode in the dark or near-dark for at least part of their trip, with 63 percent of these saying they took actions to make themselves more visible to motorists. About 4 percent of bicyclists or 2.04 million, were injured while riding in the past two years. About .5 million of these were hit by a motorist. Half (50%) of bicyclists wear a helmet for at least some trips, with 35 percent using them for all or most trips. Nine of 10 support helmet laws for children, while 62 percent support such laws for adults. Nearly half (48%) of those 16 and older are satisfied with how their local community is designed for making bicycle riding safer. About as many (47%) would like to see changes including more bike lanes (38%) and bike paths (30%). About 86 percent of people 16 or older walked, jogged or ran outdoors for 5 minutes or more during the summer months, with 78 percent doing so within the past 30 days. Walking in the past 30 days decreases to just 66 percent for those over 64. An estimated 13.33 billion walking trips were made in the summer months of 2002, with 74 percent of all trips being made by frequent walkers. Personal errands (38%), exercise (28%) and recreation (21%) are the most common reasons for trips. Nearly half (45%) of the trips were mostly made on sidewalks, and 25 percent were mostly on paved roads. Just 6 percent were made mostly on bike or walk paths or trails. About 6 percent of pedestrians felt their personal safety threatened on their most recent trip, with 62 percent saying they felt threatened by motorists. Almost three-quarters of people 16 and older (73%) are satisfied with how their local community is designed for walking, though one-third would like to see changes including more sidewalks (42%) and more lights (17%).
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