Online Program

Characteristics and factors influencing bicycling at an urban university: Results of a campus survey

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

John Steward, MPH, School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
J. Michael Bryan, M.P.H., School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
We conducted an online survey at a large urban university to determine the current use of bicycling as transportation to, from, and around campus and to determine their perceptions of factors influencing bicycling.  The purpose of the survey was to inform the development of a campus bicycling plan and to better understand factors influencing bicycling on campus and in the community.  Bicycling history, perceptions of the physical and social environment, and typical mode of transportation to and from campus were assessed, as were individuals’ perceived physical health, mental health, and recent physical activity.  Participants also provided their current residential location.   

Approximately 5000 persons participated, representing 12% of the population.  Participants reported most often using a private vehicle for commuting, followed by public transportation and walking.  Ninety-five percent reported having ever ridden a bicycle, and 46% had ridden a bicycle at least once in the past 12 months. Fifty-one percent had current access to a bicycle. Eleven percent of respondents had ridden to campus at least once during the first seven weeks of the academic year.

Participants reported that providing separated bicycle lanes on streets would increase the likelihood of future bicycle use to campus, as well as being with a reasonable commuting distance, and better campus facilities for bicycles. Making targeted environmental improvements has the potential for substantial increases in population physical activity levels and perceived rider safety.   Most bicyclists and non-bicyclists agreed that the university would be a more desirable place if we increased use of bicycles for transportation.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify the frequency of bicycle usage among university students and employees. Describe the primary modes of commuting to and from a large urban university. Differentiate between bicyclists and non-bicyclists characteristics at an urban university. Identify factors that may increase the likelihood of bicycle use in an urban environment.

Keyword(s): Built Environment, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an investigator on active living research in urban environments for the past 8 years, including bicycling. I worked for 30 years with the federal USPHS including CDC on environmental health and chronic disease prevention. I have a graduate degree in public health, concentration in environmental health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.