Bicycle Transportation Issues: Describing the Attitudes and Opinions of Cyclists in Austin, Texas
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Bicycling is an underutilized and marginalized mode of transportation. The neglect of bicycle funding and infrastructure has led to an increasingly unsafe environment for cyclists. Cities are on the forefront of addressing cycling issues and are most likely to encounter and ultimately have to fix the problems facing cyclists. The lack of cycling facilities is a serious issue, but expanding opportunities for cyclists produces many benefits not only for individuals but society as a whole. Austin Texas has been designated a Silver level bicycle friendly city with a favorable bicycling environment when compared to other U.S. cities. Therefore this study describes the attitudes and opinions of cyclists in Austin, Texas regarding the effectiveness of the city of Austin in addressing factors important to increasing bicycle transportation options.
Bicycling issues identified through a literature review resulted in a set of categories that formed the basis of a survey. The survey was distributed electronically to cyclists throughout Austin.
But as the results of this study highlight, in the eyes of its own cyclists, Austin still has a lot of work to do to make cycling a more viable transportation option. Cyclists are most concerned about Austin's improvement in the following areas: bicycle lanes and paths, connecting existing bicycle facilities and bicycles with public transportation, traffic enforcement of motorists, cyclist education, large-scale land use, and finally commuting and utilitarian cycling. In addition to discussing the problems associated with the afore mentioned categories, recommendations for overcoming these barriers will be provided. Addressing these issues has the greatest potential for making a safer and more convenient bicycling environment, thus improving bicycle transportation options for Austinites.