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BICYCLE ACCIDENT REPORTING AND MONITORING
The bicycle accident analysis was used to evaluate the performance of bicycle facilities in the City bikeway system. This chapter evaluates the present condition of bicycle facilities, and the increasing usage of the bikeways. Public involvement and input is summarized in the following sections:
On Tuesday, October 10, 1978, a public hearing was conducted to receive public input concerning the Eugene Bikeway System. The hearing was conducted for the 12-hour period between 10 AM and 10 PM, in order to avoid schedule conflicts for those who testified. The hearing was staffed by representatives of the Mayor's Bicycle Committee, the City of Eugene, and the Consultant. To obtain input from individuals who did not have time to give testimony, or who felt uncomfortable testifying, suggestion forms were provided in the hearing room.
In 1974, a similar public hearing was conducted during the preparation of the original Master Bikeways Plan. There were only a few brief periods when the microphone was not occupied, as was the case with the original hearing. Testimony concerned many aspects of bicycling and the bikeway system. Ideas and constructive criticisms were offered. There were frequent commendations of the Eugene Bicycle Committee, and Eugene Bikeway System. The transcripts of the testimony and suggestion box responses, are contained in a separate volume available in the office of the City of Eugene's Bicycle Coordinator.
The most frequent comments presented in the hearing concerned
In 1974, 19% of the public hearing comments concerned education, law enforcement, and maintenance. In 1978, 33% of the comments concerned these items. No single item was mentioned by more people, than improvement of maintenance. The public has become more concerned about each of these items over the last four years.
A form provided during the hearing was used to determine which items would encourage the respondent to use a bicycle as a regular form of transportation. The items ranked in priority of importance based on the responses include:
Five items were frequently added by respondents and these are given below in the descending order of frequency.
This questionnaire demonstrated the public's concern for the improvement of education, law enforcement, and maintenance of Eugene's bikeways.
A Eugene Bicycle Questionnaire was formulated to ask the citizens of Eugene their opinions about bicycling, the Eugene Bikeway System, and how to improve both. The questionnaire was mailed in November 1978 to a random sample of Eugene's population, and 18% of the 398 delivered questionnaires were returned. For purposes of comparison, a second distribution of the same questionnaire was made by attaching the questionnaire to parked bicycles throughout Eugene. Of the 381 attached questionnaires, 35% were returned. The population receiving questionnaires attached to their bicycles is likely to be representative of the commuting bicyclist population.
The returned questionnaires, and a compilation of the responses are available in a noteboook in the office of the City of Eugene's Bicycle Coordinator. The following is a summary of these responses.
All respondents were asked to submit opinions about:
Bicycling in Eugene
Citizens were asked to indicate their agreement with ten statements related to bicycling in Eugene. The opinions of the bicycle riders who responded to the random mailing and questionnaires attached to parked bicycles were similar for all statements. All respondents agreed that:
The bicycle riding and non-bicycle riding respondents did not agree on the statements described below:
It is apparent that respondents who use bicycles for transportation tend to be confident in their skills, not fearing injury while bicycling, and know that bicycle trips are quick, convenient, and do not affect appearance unfavorably. Respondents who do not ride bicycles feel otherwise.
Citizens were asked to indicate items most important for helping them to ride their bicycles more often. The five most frequently mentioned items in all the responses included:
The respondents who were not regular bicycle riders felt stricter enforcement of traffic rules for bicycles and motor vehicles was one of the most important items for encouraging them to ride their bicycles more often.
Respondents were asked to estimate their door-to-door travel times for walking, bicycling, driving, and riding on a bus. Nearly all respondents rated walking as the slowest means of transportation, with a bus rated as only slightly faster than walking. The comparison of bicycle and car trips was usually dependent on whether the respondent rode a bicycle or not. From the averaging of responses to the random mailout, it was determined that the bicyclists reported their door-to-door trip times were less than car trip times (88% of the total car trip times), and the car drivers thought a bicycle trip would take longer (116% of the total car trip times). The respondents to the questionnaires attached to parked bicycles indicated that their door-to-door trip times for bicycle trips were on an average equal to 68% of their car trip times. It is shown by these results that those who use bicycles find that their bicycle door-to-door trip times are less than the same trip taken by car. Those who have not used bicycles perceive that their bicycle trip times will be longer than car trip times.
Available Bicycle Paths
Citizens were asked what portion of their work trip was served by bicycle paths. Of all the respondents
Transportation Mode Preference
To evaluate preference of various means of transportation, citizens were asked to recall the number of trips made walking, riding a bicycle, riding a bus, driving a car, or riding in a car. For the evaluation of the random mailout, the respondents who used bicycles regularly were separated from the respondents who did not. It was determined that for the "non-riding" respondents, on an average they used their automobiles for 77% of their trips, buses for 2%, walking for 15%, and bicycles for 5% of their trips. For the bicycle riding respondents, on an average they used their automobiles for 40% of their trips, buses for 3%, walking for 10%, and bicycles for 47% of their trips.
The respondents to the questionnaires attached to parked bicycles indicated that even a larger portion of their trips were made using a bicycle. On an average, the respondents used their automobiles for 23% of their trips, buses for 2%, walking for 13%, and bicycles for 60% of their trips. People who do use bicycles, use bicycles more often than cars.
Seasonal Effects on Mode Preference
Respondents were asked to rank their mode preference among walking, bicycling, bus, or car for the different seasons. Of the respondents to the random mailing, 38% preferred using a car throughout the year, 23% preferred bicycling throughout the year, and 35% preferred bicycling, except during the winter months. Half of the respondents to the questionnaires attached to parked bicycles indicated that they preferred bicycling throughout the year, while half indicated that they preferred using an automobile during the winter season.
BICYCLE RIDER RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE
Questionnaire respondents who rode bicycles regularly were asked to respond to additional questions related to:
The set of questions separated the bicycle driver and non-bicycle driver population. All the respondents to the questionnaires attached to bicycles were regular bicycle drivers, and 58% of the respondents to the random mailing were regular bicycle drivers.
Bicycle Trip Purposes
To determine the purpose of bicycle trips, bicycle riders were asked to recall the number of days in October they rode a bicycle for shopping, for school or work, trips to friends, and for exercise or recreation. The responses averaged for all bicycle riders indicated that 52% of all bicycle trips were to travel to work or school, 16% were to go shopping, 16% of all trips were to visit friends, and 16% of all trips were for exercise or recreation.
Reasons for Bicycling
In order to determine what helped persuade bicycle riders to become bicycle riders, respondents were asked to choose the three most important of nine items which started them riding a bicycle. Exercise, convenience, and the high cost of automobile use were chosen as items most helpful in persuading bicyclists to ride. These three items would be important items to stress in efforts to persuade others to ride bicycles.
Bicycle riders were asked if they would ride their bicycles more often if they had a secure, covered place to park at their destination. The majority of the respondents (54%) replied that they would. Efforts to provide secure covered parking are warranted and should be continued.
Bicycling in the Rain
The majority of the bicycle riding respondents to the random mailout (59%) indicated that they ride their bicycles in the rain. In comparison, 91% of the respondents to the questionnaires attached to parked bicycles ride their bicycles in the rain. This supports the supposition that the population responding to the questionnaires attached to parked bicycles is representative of the commuting bicyclist.
Bicycle riders were asked if their bicycle replaced an extra automobile in their household, and to estimate the savings that resulted from using their bicycles. The majority of the respondents (64%) stated that an extra car for the household was not necessary because of bicycles. The average transportation cost savings for all riders were estimated at $34.00 per month or over $400.00 per year.
A significant number of people are interested in classes to improve their bicycling skills. Only two bicycle riding respondents felt their bicycling skills were less than adequate; however, 51 respondents noted that they would like an opportunity to improve their skills.
CITY STAFF AND THE MAYOR'S BICYCLE COMMITTEE
The staff of the City of Eugene and the members of the Mayor's Bicycle Committee have provided valuable input for the bikeway evaluation. Assistance provided by the City staff included:
Tile Mayor's Bicycle Committee has provided assistance with: