Impact of bicycle highways on commuter mode choice: A scenario analysis

Hema S. Rayaprolu, Carlos Llorca, Rolf Moeckel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Dutch concept of ‘bicycle highways’ is increasingly being adopted by urban planners owing to rising environmental and health consciousness, and the growing popularity of electric bicycles. Bicycle highways differ from other types of cycling infrastructure in that they avoid intersections with motorised traffic, and are wide enough to allow for safe overtaking, thereby increasing cycling speeds. While many studies investigate the feasibility of constructing bicycle highways, few explore their effect on users’ travel preferences. In this context, our study aims to assess the potential impact of bicycle highways on commuter mode choice. We built a discrete choice model based on individual commute data from a national household travel survey, Mobilität in Deutschland 2008. The model was estimated in a logit modelling framework using Biogeme. We estimated multinomial logit and nested logit models and found nested logit to be more appropriate. The model estimates were then applied to forecast mode shares in scenarios with the pilot bicycle highway proposed in the Munich region. The variation in mode shares across scenarios with increasing average cycling speeds was analysed in areas with varying proximity to the infrastructure. The results suggest that bicycle highways reduce motorised travel and increase cycling. The effect is stronger as proximity to the corridor increases. The analysis helps to quantify the potential impact of bicycle highways on commuter mode choice even without considering further benefits beyond travel time reductions, such as increased safety, convenience, comfort, and reduced risks due to fewer interactions with motorised traffic.

Keywords

  • Bicycle highways
  • commuter mode choice
  • discrete choice analysis
  • multinomial logit
  • nested logit

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