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Research Project
Understanding How Bicycle Facility Characteristics and the Build Environment Influence Bicycle Use in a Small Urban Area: Case Study of Fargo-Moorhead

In recent years, cities across the country have been designing new bicycle facilities, or making improvements to existing ones, to provide additional transportation options to residents and encourage increased bicycling. Types of bicycle facilities include shared lane markings, striped paved shoulders, bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, sidepaths, bicycle boulevards, cycle tracks, and multi-use trails. While providing new or improved bicycle facilities may encourage increased bicycling, design characteristics of the street and the built environment are also important. Streets with higher traffic volumes and faster vehicles speeds, for example, will likely discourage bicycle use. Planners need to know if investments in bicycle facilities have had the desired effect and which characteristics are most successful in encouraging bicycle use. Knowledge of how street network design and the built environment affect bicycle use is also important.

This study will use bicycle count data and develop a model to estimate the relationships between bicycle facility and street characteristics and bicycle usage. The model will also include other land use characteristics, such as population density, and demographic factors that could contribute to bicycle use. Understanding these relationships is important for cities that want to encourage increased bicycle use. It will also show if bicyclists are using roadway design features that are meant to accommodate bicyclists. One of the challenges for research on bicycle use is a lack of bike count data. This study will take advantage of crowdsourced bicycle use data collected from Strava Metro, using Fargo-Moorhead as the study area.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050