Evaluating the Impact of the “May is Bike Month” Campaign on Increasing Bicycling Rates in the Sacramento Region

Research Team: Giovanni Circella (lead), Farzad Alemi and Jai Malik

University: UC Davis

Problem Statement: Active modes of transportation like bicycling and walking are extremely beneficial to society. Encouraging more people to bike and walk helps reduce the amount of travel people may make by car (i.e., vehicle miles travelled) and in turn helps to reduce congestion and transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants. Bicycling and walking also have direct and positive health impacts. A number of steps have been taken to promote active transportation in cities and regions, including awareness campaigns, transportation demand management (TDM) policies, building new bicycling infrastructure, and the launch of bikesharing programs. However, it is often unclear how much impact a specific strategy can have on actual rates of bicycling and walking in a community or region.

Project Description: UC Davis is assisting the Sacramento Council of Governments (SACOG) in evaluating the impact of the agency’s ‘May is Bike Month’ campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to motivate residents working and/or living in the region to start using (or increase use of) bicycles as a mode of transportation. SACOG conducted a survey as part of the 2018 ‘May is Bike Month’ campaign, which collected self-reported information from participants on the frequency of bicycling before and after the campaign, perceived barriers to bicycling, motivations for bicycling, travel habits, household and individual sociodemographic, place of residence of the participants. UC Davis is analyzing the survey data to gain a better understanding of the role land use characteristics and transit accessibility have on bicycling rates. This information will be used to understand the variables that affect individuals’ decisions to increase, decrease or not change the level of bicycling during and after the end of the ‘May is Bike Month’ campaign. This project helps SACOG identify the groups which are most and least receptive to the campaign, and ways these groups of individuals have reacted (in terms of changing their bicycling behavior) in response to the campaign. SACOG can use this information to make strategic changes to its annual “May is Bike Month” campaign in order to optimize the campaign’s effectiveness in future years, and/or coordinate the campaign with additional initiatives to promote bicycling in the Sacramento region.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $10,000

Project Partner(s): Sacramento Area Council of Governments