Present research provides evidence that the route characteristics and aspects of the surround-ing environment play an important, although not an exclusive, role in travel choices related to cycling, and influence the decision to bicycle. According to current understanding of the topic, the causality of factors of the route environment on cycling and non-cycling is not fully ascertained. Moreover, travel demand models, which attempt at forecasting cycling behavior, to a great extent do not integrate the cycling network and its attributes. The doctoral project aims at surveying and analyzing the influence of the route environment on bicycle travel demand using Berlin and Vienna as its empirical cases. More specifically, it asks, what is the role of the personal evaluation of the route environment in bicycle travel demand, and whether the personal evaluation can explain mobility decisions related to cycling.
The two research questions focus on both aspects of bicycle travel demand – the mode and the route choice:
- Which factors of the route environment are decisive for the route choice in bicycle trips?
- What kind of influence does the personal evaluation of route alternatives have on the decision (not) to bicycle?
The research is designed as a mixed-methodological study. The mixed-methodological approach aims to connect between two data collection and analysis phases, where problem-centered interviews are followed by a stated choice experiment. The emphasis on the statistical inference asserts that the results of the study will be applicable in estimating future travel demand. Nevertheless, this study design implies an inductive research process, in which the antecedence of the qualitative phase demonstrates the need of understanding the potential of bicycle use ahead of assessing it. Results of this research will facilitate future planning efforts for cycling as well as travel demand modeling in estimating the decision to cycle and the route choices of bicyclists. They will determine factors relevant for urban transportation planning that could facilitate and accessibility with the bicycle as a transporta-tion mode. The deep investigation of factors of the route environment and their manifestation will help not only in general planning, but also in the explicit design of facilities which attempt to provide for bicycle traffic.