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April 14, 2009

Bike Commuting and Walking: Survey Finds Folks Make Excuses Not To

Researchers with Kansas State University's Physical Activity and Public Health Laboratory, have discovered a few things from two surveys, administered in 2008, which interviewed 1200 people (800 of them from the college), looking at demographics, psychosocial factors and environmental characteristics related to active commuting.

Of the college folks:

Students were most likely to actively commute, then faculty members, and then staff. Women and men were equally interested in walking or biking. Older individuals were less likely to actively commute than younger individuals.

Depending on distance to campus, those living within a 20-minute walk actively commuted four times per week, and those within a 20-minute bike ride, biked to campus five times per week.

Researchers found that certain things influenced people's choices to actively commute:

"We learned from the community survey results that people who hold ecologically-friendly attitudes are more likely to actively commute and less likely to drive to work,"...

Some of the hindrances to active commuting, according to the surveys, included a perceived lack of bike racks, showers or a place to freshen up before work or teaching, and an "office culture" where driving to work is the norm and there is limited support for walking or biking.

Respondents also listed time constraints, weather, a need to go elsewhere before or after work or school; parking availability; parking costs; concerns about the environment, such as pollution; cost of gasoline; safety from traffic and crime; and the terrain they have to traverse.

This is a very interesting article, and the full thing can be read at SCIENCE BLOG.

Maybe it's just me, a guy that has never owned a car in his life, and walked, biked, bused, trained, or planed, everywhere he goes, except when with family or friends who have a car, but the more someone unsure they want to ditch the car thinks about reasons they shouldn't, the harder it might be for them to take the plunge.

April 14, 2009 in Blogosphere covers Bicycling | Permalink

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