Year of Publication

2019

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Nikiforos Stamatiadis

Abstract

Bicycling as a mode of transportation has been increasing in recent years due to its environmental and health benefits. The availability of bicycles through bicycle share programs has made bicycling a more viable option. With this increase, there is a need for complementary improvements of bicycle infrastructure. Many local and regional transportation agencies are recognizing this need and developing a master plan or safety action plan to improve the city’s bicycle and walking facilities. This study examines bicycle travel demands and travel patterns in Lexington, Kentucky as generated by SPIN bicycle share users. It is hypothesized that the SPIN users emulate bicycle users on and around the University of Kentucky campus. Therefore, analyzing their travel patterns will provide a valuable understanding of bicycle demand and infrastructure needs. To identify such demand, travel patterns and routes were compared to the existing bicycle infrastructure in order to determine improvement needs with an ulterior goal to increase bicycling as a mode of transportation. The methods of study include five levels of analysis: length and duration, temporal, climatic, point density, and modeling. Recommendations for improving routes and parking facilities have been developed based on analytical methods and results obtained. The findings support the notion that bicycle infrastructure influences the travel paths cyclists take. The research supports the idea that commuters are using SPIN bicycles to chain their trips with transit and completing the last or first section of the trip with a bicycle. It was found that bicycle travel demand fluctuates with weather patterns. Furthermore, future work could use the existing data and conduct a detailed analysis on the individual trip level to determine what percentage of a completed trip was taken on an existing bicycle facility or on a non-facility. These findings should aid transportation planning and city officials to make decisions for expanding the existing bicycle network in efforts to minimize the percentage of cyclists who take a detour and the length of detours when necessary.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2020.022

Funding Information

UK Sustainability Office Grant (2019)

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