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Bicycling attitudes survey for nine Florida counties

Florida Dept. of Transportation surveys bicyclists on Bicycling as a Priority, Purposes of Bicycling, Assessment of Bicycling Facilities, and Bicycling Safety.

Download the complete survey with detailed responses and Survey Instrument (pdf 528 kb)

From Florida Institute of Government & Department of Public Administration, University of Central Florida (Aug. 2003)

"Respondents have high expectations for bicycling and walking facilities that are not fully met."

This survey assesses the opinions of residents in Florida Department of Transportation, District 5 (FDOT-D5) concerning residents' attitudes towards walking, bicycling and the use of walking and bicycling facilities for the purpose of assisting in planning for bicycling and walking. The FDOT-D5 service area encompasses Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties.

Profile of Bicyclists

1. Bicyclists are found among all socio-economic strata and demographic groups of the population. 52.4% of bicyclists are males, and 89.2% of bicyclists are under 66 years. Hispanics, those under 45 years, and respondents with total annual household incomes over $60,000 are more likely to bicycle, and those over 66 years or with incomes under $20,000 are less likely to bicycle.

2. Among those who bicycle, two-thirds (68.7%) state that they bicycle at least once per week.

3. Bicycling does not vary much by whether respondents live in urban, rural or transitional (i.e. suburban) settings. The report offers that this may reflect many suburban-style developments in rural settings.

4. About one quarter (26.1%) of households have children under 18 years who bike. Among respondents between 25 and 54 years, 43.1% have children under 18 years who bicycle, and children of such respondents are more likely to bicycle when the respondent also bicycles (33.0% versus 48.0%).

Bicycling as a Priority

5. Respondents have high expectations for bicycling and walking facilities that are not fully met. 91.0% of bicyclists and 77.1% of non-bicyclists agree or strongly agree that they would like their area to be among the most attractive places for walking and bicycling in the U.S. However, 87.9% of bicyclists and 72.1% of non-bicyclists agree or strongly agree that they would like to live in a place where more of their daily needs can be met through walking and bicycling. Only 60.1% of bicyclists and 50.9% of non-bicyclists agree or strongly agree that their area is more attractive for bicycling and walking than other places that they know about. Also, 88.1% of bicyclists and 71.4% of non-bicyclists agree or strongly agree that they would bike and walk for exercise more if good facilities were conveniently located.

6. Good bicycling facilities make the area more attractive for growth. 84.2% of bicyclists and 70.8% of non-bicyclists agree or strongly agree that good bicycle facilities make it more attractive for people to move into the area. Also, 54.8% of bicyclists and 42.2% of nonbicyclists also agree or strongly agree that good bicycle facilities make it more attractive for businesses to move into the area. Variation among counties on these items is minimal.

Purposes of Bicycling

7. Almost everyone (98.6%) who bicycles does so for exercise and recreation, and one-third (33.5%) also bicycles for other purposes. These other purposes include running errands (27.1%), going to work (7.4%) or going to or from school (9.2%).

8. Respondents want more opportunities to bicycle to work. Among bicyclists who work outside the home, 52.6% of bicyclists would like more opportunities for bicycling to work. Even among non-bicyclists who work outside the home, 35.9%, state that they want more opportunities to bicycle to work, suggesting that they might (again?) bicycle.

Assessment of Bicycling Facilities

9. Most respondents are familiar with bike paths and bike lanes in their area. Respectively, 72.2% of bicyclists and 46.2% of non-bicyclists agree or strongly agree that they are familiar with the bike paths in their area, and 75.5% of bicyclists and 59.6% of nonbicyclists agree or strongly agree that they are familiar with bike lanes in their area. Among bicyclists, 58.5% state that they have ever bicycled on a state road in their county.

10. What respondents like most and least. When asked what they like most about walking and bicycling in their area, respondents most often noted scenery, exercise, relaxation, being outdoors, and paths. Some also noted the opportunity to socialize. When asked what they liked least, many mention traffic and unsafe drivers and roads. Some also noted the lack of bicycling and walking facilities. However, very few note weather, heat or bugs.

11. Most bicyclists don't know whether there are adequate bike paths and bike lanes in their area. Respectively, 50.7% and 57.2% state that they "don't know," and 55.3% don't know 3 whether the network of bike paths and bike lanes go to where they need them to go. The report offers that this might reflect bicyclists either not using these facilities, not using them enough, or not using enough of them. However, among bicyclists with an opinion, and who are familiar with such facilities in their area, respectively 74.7% and 70.8% agree or strongly agree that there are adequate bike paths and bike lanes in their area.

12. Most bicyclists who have ever bicycled along a State Road in their county, or specific segments of a State Road, "don't know" whether they are satisfied with the bicycle lanes on these roads. Respectively, 51.6% and 57.0% state that they "don't know". This finding is consistent with an earlier statewide FDOT survey. Among bicyclists who have ever bicycled on these roads and who have an opinion, somewhat fewer are satisfied than dissatisfied. Respectively, 43.2% of those who have ever bicycled along a State Road, and 45.5% of those who have bicycled along a specific segment of a State Road, are satisfied or very satisfied with these bike lanes.

Bicycling Safety

13. Bicyclists agree that the bike paths are safe to bicycle on. Among those who bicycle and are familiar with bike paths in their area, 63.9% agree or strongly agree that they are safe to bicycle on, 27.9% don't know and 8.2% disagree or strongly disagree.

14. Some bicyclists agree, but others "don't know" whether it is safe to ride on the bike lanes in their area. 40.9% agree or strongly agree, 45.2% don't know and 13.9% disagree or strongly disagree that it is safe to ride on these bike lanes. Bicyclists who have ever bicycled along a State Road, or specific segment of a State Road, also often don't know whether is it safe to bicycle on or along these roads: respectively, 61.6% and 58.6% state they don't know. Among those with who did not answer "don't know," respectively, 62.2% and 58.9% agree or strongly agree it is safe to bicycle on or along these roads.

15. A large majority of respondents state that fast driving vehicles make it dangerous to bicycle along State Roads. 92.0% of bicyclists and 85.6% of non-bicyclists agree or strongly agree with this statement. Although many bicyclists don't know whether it is safe to bike on State Roads, they are clear about what makes these roads dangerous. Bicyclists and nonbicyclists alike agree on this, and 79.5% of bicyclists and 71.0% of non-bicyclists agree or strongly agree that these roads would be safer for bicycling if the bike lanes were wider. Most respondents who have ever bicycled on or along one these roads are ambivalent whether the bikes on the bike lanes are adequately separated from the cars (58.6% don't know).

16. Safe bike paths and bike lanes increase their use. Respondents who bicycle are 80.7% more likely to ride their bike for errands when they perceive that it is safe to bicycle on bike lanes in their area, and they are four times more likely to ride their bike to work. Respondents are 32.7% more likely to ride a bike when they perceive that riding a bike on a bike path is safe. 62.8% of all respondents state that they would use the State Roads in their county more for bicycling if the bike lanes were more accessible and safe to use. 4

17. Bicycling safety for children. Among respondents with children under 18 years who bike, 54.5% agree or strongly agree that it is safe for children to ride their bicycles in their neighborhood (11.8% disagree or strongly disagree, and 33.7% don't know). Among respondents whose children ride a bike to school, 60.2% state that doing so is safe (33.4% disagree and 5.3% don't know).

18. Support for law enforcement. Among respondents, 93.1% agree or strongly agree that police should give tickets to motorists who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks. Also, 95.7% of respondents agree or strongly agree that police should give warnings or tickets to bicyclists who violate the law.

Other

19. Respondents are ambivalent about whether they are satisfied with the sidewalks on the State Roads. Among respondents, 32.7% are very satisfied or satisfied, 40.9% don't know, and 26.4% are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. While few respondents are dissatisfied with any single aspects about sidewalks (such as safety or availability), analysis suggests that high levels of satisfaction require high marks for safety, smooth surface, separation from cars, safe crossings, and availability of sidewalks.

20. Funding priorities. When asked for future spending priorities, respondents provided the following allocations: approximately 42.1% for sidewalks, 34.0% for bike paths and 23.8% for bike lanes. The percentages are roughly similar among bicyclists and non-bicyclists.

The phone survey was conducted between March 27 and May 22, 2003. Respondents were randomly selected, and 1,821 surveys were completed, approximately 200 in each county, among respondents 18 years and over. The principal investigator of this project was Dr. Evan Berman, Department of Public Administration (University of Central Florida). Wilbur Smith Associates provided technical support for this project.

Download the complete survey with detailed responses and Survey Instrument (pdf 528 kb)

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