Research Team: Daniel A. Rodríguez (lead) and Elizabeth R. Nachman
UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley
Problem Statement: A current challenge for cities is how to get more people out of cars and onto bicycles. Cycling concerns relate to a variety of characteristics, including safety from traffic, bicycle operation and handling safety, and availability of bicycle facilities at destinations (e.g., bike racks). Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified policies that change bicyclist behavior as some of the most cost-effective measures, the effectiveness of bicyclist education has not been well-examined.
Project Description: This study provides an evaluation of the effectiveness of classroom-based adult bicycle education in delivering changes related to bicycling activity, self-perceptions while bicycling, knowledge of the bicycling rules of the road, and mode choice in the San Francisco Bay Area. Evaluation of the intervention was conducted using self-administered surveys completed prior to the intervention and again six weeks after the course. Self-reported data was validated using objective data collected using the Ride Report app. Participants reported statistically significant increases in confidence while bicycling in both traffic and car-free areas, feelings of safety while bicycling in car-free areas, and knowledge of the rules of the road. Participants with initial low confidence increased bicycling activity and feelings of safety in traffic, compared to participants overall. App-collected bicycling data correlated nearly perfectly with self-reported data, suggesting that self-reported data can be used reliably. Classroom-based bicycle education courses are a cost-effective way to change bicycling self-perception and increase knowledge of the bicycling rules of the road.
Project Partner(s): City of San Francisco (Vision Zero SF program), San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and Bike East Bay