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Student Thesis and Dissertations

Survey on the Bike Commute Environment among Seattle Area Bike Planners and Advocates

Publication Date: 2020

Bike facilities like bike lanes, bike trails, and neighborhood greenways have been the backbone of Seattle’s bike planning policy with the goal of promoting active transportation, reducing car dependence, improving social equity, and eliminating bike accidents. While the equitable implementation of all of these facilities are still a priority for the Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development to increase viable commute mobility options, bike planning investments may not reflect the priorities shared by those in the bike community. Other factors in the bike commute environment were not present in Seattle’s Bike Master Plan, such as bike storage and shower facilities. There is also a lack of knowledge on whether there were priorities that people of color might have that are different. To better understand those priorities, this study sent out an online survey to 14 bike facility planning groups and bike community organizations around Seattle on the importance of nineteen different factors in the bike commute environment. For each factor, there were a range of values gauging the degree of importance of a bike commute factor to the bike commute environment, as well as a free response to allow respondents to elaborate on their answers. In total, 71 survey responses were received. The factor that placed the highest importance on the bike commute environment was bike racks and storage, higher than even bike facilities such as bike lanes. There were also not many differences in the priorities expressed by people of color, with the only significant difference being the weighting of sharrows, which had received significantly more support from people of color. Using the results of the survey, we recommend that the City of Seattle develop a bike commute environment index with a weighting scheme that is reflective of the priorities expressed in the survey, in addition to informing the City what are the community priorities in the bike commute environment.

Authors: Dr. Ed McCormack, Theodore Cheung, Katie Sheehy, Christine Bae
Recommended Citation:
Cheung, Theodore & Sheehy, Katie & Bae, Christine & McCormack, Edward. (2020). Survey on the Bike Commute Environment among Seattle Area Bike Planners and Advocates. 10.13140/RG.2.2.28619.31529.
Student Thesis and Dissertations

Seattle Bicycle Share Feasibility Study

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Publication: University of Washington, College of Built Environment, Department of Urban Planning and Design
Publication Date: 2011

This report assesses the feasibility of a public use bike-share system for Seattle, Washington. Colloquially referred to as “bike-share” or “bike-sharing,” such systems are considered a form of public transportation. Bike-share bicycles are intended for short-term use and are accessible via automated check-out systems. An important benefit of bike-share systems is the flexibility to return rented bicycles to any station within the system, thereby encouraging use for one-way travel and the “final mile” of a trip.

The four major chapters of this report represent the organization of our research and analysis. The topic areas are:

  • Introduction: Bike-share history and the structure of our study
  • Demand Analysis: Our analytic and forecast methodologies along with results of their application
  • Policy Framework: Consideration of governance institutions and their effects on system implementation
  • Bike-Share Program Recommendations: Summation of our findings and recommendations for how Seattle should proceed

During our analysis, we looked at demand for bike-share in Seattle. We have concluded that demand is sufficient to support a program. Our final recommendation includes three implementation phases, beginning with the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

However, despite anticipation of program demand, there are institutional policy challenges that must be addressed before successful implementation. Prominent among these are:

  • The King County helmet law
  • City of Seattle sign codes
  • Policies that affect station design and use of curbspace

In the case of the latter two, individual neighborhoods and districts may each have their own, unique impacts. Fortunately, Seattle has the flexibility to address these issues, and there are systems in place to overcome these challenges. Once addressed, we recommend the City move forward with implementing a bikeshare program.

Authors: Dr. Ed McCormack, Jennifer Gregerson, Max Hepp-Buchanan, Daniel Rowe, John Vander Sluis, Erica Wygonik, Michael Xenakis
Recommended Citation:
Gregerson, J., Hepp-Buchanan, M., Rowe, D., Vander Sluis, J., Wygonik, E., Xenakis, M., & McCormack, E. (2011). Seattle bicycle share feasibility study. University of Washington, College of Built Environment, Department of Urban Planning and Design.

Bike-Share Planning in Cities with Varied Terrain

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Publication: Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Journal
Volume: 84:07:00
Pages: 31-35
Publication Date: 2014
Decisions to install public bike-share programs are increasingly based on ridership estimations, but the topography’s influence on ridership is rarely quantified. This research evaluated a geographic information system-based approach for estimating ridership that accounted for hills. Double-weighting a slope relative to other measures produces a realistic representation of the bicycling experience. Because of their benefits, bike-share programs are increasingly of interest in cities and universities across the country. A bike-share program provides short-term use bicycles to the public through a system of unattended stations for their checkout and return. This research enhanced methodology developed in Philadelphia by developing and evaluating an additional indicator that accounts for hills. Several scenarios were tested, using Seattle as a case study, to find the best method to account for the notable impact of hills on bike riders’ choices and to evaluate the addition of slope to the calculation of bike-share demand.
Authors: Dr. Ed McCormack, Erica Wygonik, Daniel H. Rowe
Recommended Citation:
McCormack, E., & Rowe, D. H. (2014). Bike-share planning in cities with varied terrain. Institute of Transportation Engineers. ITE Journal, 84(7), 31.