Factors Influencing Intended Bicycling Behavior


  • Vanessa Gravenstine SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • Diane M. Kuehn SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • Ashley A. Dayer Virginia Tech, Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation




bicycling, facilitators, constraints, motivations, intentions


Executive Summary

Bicycling for transportation and recreation has many benefits including human health, greenhouse gas reduction, and community building.  Understanding the factors that influence intentions to bicycle can help community planners improve access to bicycle routes and facilities for residents.  This study examines the facilitators, constraints, motivations, demographic and experiential characteristics, and intentions to ride a bicycle of the residents of the Town of DeWitt in Central New York State. Data were collected using a mail and internet survey during the summer of 2015.  Survey questions focused on constraints/facilitators, motivations, intentions, demographics, recent participation in bicycling during the summer of 2015, and lifetime involvement in bicycling (i.e., number of years).  Of the 1,253 questionnaires distributed, a qualified sample of 1,206 households was obtained; 56 questionnaires were completed online and 417 were returned by mail, resulting in a 39% response rate. Descriptive statistics and path analysis were used to identify determinants of bicycling intentions. Lack of adequate infrastructure was identified as a significant constraint on bicycling intentions, while support for infrastructure enhancements, enjoyment from riding, riding to spend time with friends and family, and number of children in the respondent’s household all directly and significantly influenced intentions to bike ride. Other factors (i.e., infrastructure connections in the community, spending time outdoors, support from others for biking, gender, free time, age, and income) indirectly influenced intentions. The results indicate that respondents would likely be in support of infrastructure improvements in the future, especially if these improvements create safer riding locations for both adults and children. In addition, the analysis made it possible to discern previously unrecognized factors influencing bicycling intentions, such as gender-based differences in level of support for biking infrastructure enhancements, the number of children in the household, and the importance of biking as a social experience. Incorporating off-road bike paths and gathering places for bicyclists into future planning efforts would likely be supported by residents seeking safe riding experiences for themselves and their children.

Author Biography

Diane M. Kuehn, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Diane Kuehn is an Associate Professor of Outdoor Recreation Management in the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management at SUNY ESF.





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