How to Grow Bicycling: More Bike Lanes!

With Make My Trip Count Survey, Pittsburghers share influencing factors on biking habits

The rate of bicycling in Pittsburgh is increasing, but with the urgent need to focus on our poor air quality, climate change, and the affordability of the city, we need to accelerate that growth. So what factors influence people to cycle more, whether or not they’re already cycling?

The Green Building Alliance’s Make My Trip Count (MMTC) survey of more than 20,000 people looked at seven different factors that could impact the likelihood of someone biking as their primary mode of transportation.

The factors range from infrastructure, like the presence of more bike lanes along commuter routes, to workplace culture, like flexible dress codes and scheduling.

Across the board, whether one currently rides or not, installing more bike lanes has the greatest potential to increase biking in Pittsburgh.

Of the Pittsburghers that already included cycling in their top three transportation choices in the MMTC survey, 87% indicated a greater presence of bike lanes would encourage them to bike more.

The least influential factor was having friends or coworkers that also bike to work or school; if you’re already cycling, having your friends do it too won’t necessarily influence you, it seems.

Getting new cyclists on the road

For people who do not currently ride, safety and security ranked highest with 41% saying that more bike lanes would encourage them to ride a bike as their primary mode of transportation. Alongside bike lanes, having bike lockers at their final destinations and improving access to a quick ride home in case of emergency were the top two factors likely to impact ridership.

Flexible dress codes don’t seem to be particularly impactful – with only 20% of non-cyclists indicating it would encourage them to cycle – but the ability to freshen up could be; about 34% of non-cyclists and 63% of cyclists would be encouraged by the presence of showers at their school or workplace.

Across the board, cyclist or not, installing more bike lanes has the greatest potential to increase biking in Pittsburgh.

Overwhelmingly, bike lanes are the most significant factor in encouraging both cyclists and non-cyclists to bike as a primary mode of transportation. While workplace initiatives could help, especially for those already cycling, thanks to the Make My Trip Count Survey, we can confirm that it will require larger-scale initiatives and a City-led prioritization of bicycle riders as users of the street to substantially increase primary-mode cycling.

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