Study: Three Different Types of Cyclists

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A Portland, OR engineering firm has found three different types of cyclists in Ashland, Portland, as well as in other US cities. Approximately 0.5 percent of the population can be classified as “strong and fearless,” and will bike on any road conditions. Seven percent represent the “enthused and confident” cyclists who prefer direct, unimpeded, quick bicycle routes that tend to be along the major road network. And the last group is the largest, with 60% of the population described as “interested but concerned” about the safety of the existing bike network. Read more below…

“There appears to be a need to provide a multi-level cycling system that caters to multiple types of cyclists, if there is to be a significant change in shifting more people to cycling,” the report states.

The study lists several ways the city can cater to the concerned group of cyclists, and city officials plan to heed the advice, in order to encourage more people to bike, said Ashland Planning Commission Chairwoman Pam Marsh.

“Many residents are really wanting to bicycle, but are aware of safety issues, especially those people who are parents,” she said. “A lot of traffic we generate in the city is from parents ferrying their kids around, so if we can begin to address their concerns, hopefully we can get more people bicycling.”

The study recommends creating buffered, protected or separated bike lanes on busy streets and providing more cross-town bike routes that don’t involve cycling on Main Street, Siskiyou Boulevard or Ashland Street.

“The existing cyclists, made up of the ‘strong and fearless’ and ‘enthused and confident’ groups, prefer direct, unimpeded, quick routes that tend to be along the major road network, whereas the ‘interested but concerned’ group is less interested in speed and tend to seek greater comfort and an enhanced sense of safety,” the report states.

“You really can get a lot for your money, in terms of alternative transportation, by investing in bike pathways,” Marsh said.

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