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Old 11-12-08, 03:26 PM   #1
mjoyce
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Biking Advocacy Research

Hi all,

We are Industrial Design students at Georgia Tech conducting a research project on promoting urban biking as a means of transportation. We want to convince people to get on bikes (and hopefully stay on them) instead of relying on cars. In particular, we're trying to identify the catalysts that get people on their bikes in the first place. That's where YOU come in!!

We would really appreciate your input in helping us solve this problem. If you could post what sparked you to use your bike as your primary means of transportation, it would really help us out. Thanks in advance for your time and responses!

M, L, & C
Industrial Design Program
College of Architecture
Georgia Institute of Technology
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Old 11-12-08, 03:31 PM   #2
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The desire to bike more got me commuting by bike. The desire to bike is what got me back to biking after a lull in my biking. Being 13 and needing to get to a summer job ~3 miles away with the options being walk or bike is what got me into biking for transportation originally.
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Old 11-12-08, 03:34 PM   #3
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OK, don't permit cars on the road... People will use bikes.

It's really as simple as that.

The bottom like is that the automobile in our society is subsidized heavily... from "free parking" to tax credits for oil exploration, to auto centric designs for our roads and cities.

Even cyclists pay taxes that in the long run subsidize motoring.
http://www.stlbikefed.org/Advocacy/C...0/Default.aspx

So, bottom line, remove cars, or have motorists pay the full amount for their use of cars based on the space they use, the wear on the roads, and the damage to the environment...

The result will be more bicycle use.
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Old 11-12-08, 03:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
OK, don't permit cars on the road... People will use bikes.

It's really as simple as that.

The bottom like is that the automobile in our society is subsidized heavily... from "free parking" to tax credits for oil exploration, to auto centric designs for our roads and cities.

Even cyclists pay taxes that in the long run subsidize motoring.
http://www.stlbikefed.org/Advocacy/C...0/Default.aspx

So, bottom line, remove cars, or have motorists pay the full amount for their use of cars based on the space they use, the wear on the roads, and the damage to the environment...

The result will be more bicycle use.
Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
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Old 11-12-08, 03:47 PM   #5
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Look at what John Pucher has to say. He argues persuasively that cycling specific infrastructure is a major factor for a lot of people on the fence to leave their cars at home and ride their bike.

IMNSHO I don't care much for most bicycling specific infrastructure. Too often it solves a non-problem (cyclists being overrun by motor vehicles from the rear) and seldom addresses (and sometimes exacerbates) the real problems of cyclists in traffic: motorists failing to yield the right of way to cyclists.

However, if we can't get the mode split higher than its current 2%, then vehicular cyclists will have won the battle but lost the war.

http://bikeportland.org/2008/05/30/j...-for-everyone/

http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/u...resistible.pdf
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Old 11-12-08, 03:50 PM   #6
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The first thing I hear when people find out Im 98% bike usage for travel is:
"ARE YOU NUTS ?!?!" Non bike people are scared to mix bikes with cars.
Immediately followed by :
"I hope you arent you one of the ones that holds me up" <insert ponderous bicyclist
held me up story, here>

The irony is sadly hilarious.
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Old 11-12-08, 06:59 PM   #7
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Traffic congerstion and a shortage of parking spots got me riding. I had an unused bike in my garage that I had owned for about five years but had rarely ridden. Before I started commuting by bike, I had no interest in cycling

It all comes down to Malthus. When too much traffic makes driving impractical and slow, people will turn to bikes. If I'd been able to find a parking spot within fifteen minutes, that bike would still be unused.

Paul
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Old 11-12-08, 07:36 PM   #8
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I started commuting after I was introduced to road bikes. I never rode one until last year. It made cycling fun for me so I started commuting to get more time in the saddle.

I blame the mountain bike. When I thought of a bicycle, I thought of the Wally World 40 pounders with knobbies from my childhood. Slow and uncomfortable.
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Old 11-13-08, 07:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post
The first thing I hear when people find out Im 98% bike usage for travel is:
"ARE YOU NUTS ?!?!" Non bike people are scared to mix bikes with cars.
Immediately followed by :
"I hope you arent you one of the ones that holds me up" <insert ponderous bicyclist
held me up story, here>

The irony is sadly hilarious.
I always reply. "Oh... Was that you?"

On topic. I ride for exercise and the challenge. I can easily ride to work, but I hate working all sweaty in an office.
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Old 11-13-08, 08:27 AM   #10
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I started biking for all the obvious reasons - money savings, fun, exercise, fun, quick and easy for urban travel, reduce my carbon footprint... did i mention fun? (Basically started in Portland, OR, where it was so culturally acceptable and easy that it quickly became ingrained and stayed with me when I left.)

By the way, somewhat tangential to your research but perhaps with some useful information nonetheless is a report my organization (Rails-to-Trails Conservancy) just released, "Active Transportation for America," quantifying the benefits of more walking and biking nationally, and putting a pricetag on that benefit. See more at www.railstotrails.org/atfa.
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Old 11-13-08, 09:07 AM   #11
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The tangible fear of death caused me to start riding again. I was 47 and had stage 3 colon cancer. After radiation, chemo, and surgery, I started to swim and ride for the health benefits. Then the cancer came back in my liver, which is very bad news. I'm now two years, four months post-chemo (the second time), and about 10,000 biking miles, with no sign of cancer. Good doctors, strong medicine, my family, and my bike saved my life.
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Old 11-16-08, 02:05 PM   #12
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I second the recommendation that everybody read John Pucher's work (he has posted most of his articles on his website: http://policy.rutgers.edu/faculty/pucher/ ).

As for me, I started commuting by bike when I realized it was faster and easier than commuting by car. Dense cities with limited parking encourage bikes (as well as walking and transit). If you want to get more people on bikes, impose an urban sprawl limit and increase parking fees.

Outside of dense urban centers, it can be difficult to bike because the car traffic moves too fast; in those environments, separate bike paths can be good -- but not many people will use them until you make it slower and more of a hassle to use a car.
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