Studies of bicycle and pedestrian behaviors and attitudes 10/05 Richard Potts

 

Study 1. Naturalistic observational study: Do cyclists obey the “no bikes” symbol in the raised crosswalks?

 

35 students observed cyclists entering crosswalks for 10 minutes during class change, once at a marked (“no bikes”) crosswalk, and again at an unmarked crosswalk, resulting in approximately 11.6 cumulative hours of observation time.

 

655 cyclists were observed using the crosswalks; 340 in a marked crosswalk, 315 in an unmarked crosswalk.

 

Overall, 91% of all cyclists rode their bikes across the crosswalk, while 9% dismounted and walked their bikes across. This is down from about 19% compliance with the upright sandwich board signs temporarily erected in Spring 05.

 

However, among the 9% who walked their bikes across, there was a significant difference for marked vs. unmarked crosswalks: 72% (of the 9%) who walked did so at  marked crosswalks, while only 18% of those who walked did so at unmarked crosswalks.

 

Raw data:                                            marked cw            unmarked cw

 

                                    Rode                297                  298

 

                                    Walked          43                    17

 

 

In summary, most cyclists ignore the “no bikes” symbol painted in the crosswalks. A very small number do heed those symbols, and show discrimination between marked and unmarked crosswalks.

 

Study 2. Questionnaire about cyclist and pedestrian behaviors on campus.

 

A questionnaire was distributed to 145 OSU students using a convenience sampling method (not necessarily representative of all OSU students).  The sample consisted of 78 males and 67 females; 51 were cyclists and 94 were noncyclists.  The questions asked are presented below, with overall percentages giving a particular response, as well as whether responses of cyclists differed from those of noncyclists.

 

a. Do you feel that bicyclists on the OSU campus ride in a safe and responsible manner?

 

Definitely No              1            2            3            4            5            Definitely Yes

% answering:              10            32            29            28            1

 

Mean: 2.77                  cyclists: 3.17            noncyclists: 2.56   * statistically significant difference

 

 

b. Do you feel that pedestrians on the OSU campus walk in a safe and responsible manner?

 

Definitely No              1            2            3            4            5            Definitely Yes

% answering:              6            26            30            26            12

 

Mean: 3.13                  cyclists: 3.05            noncyclists: 3.17            no difference

 

c. Have you ever been hit by a bike while walking or cycling on the OSU campus?

 

                        Never              Once                Twice              Three times    More than 3 times

% answering:            74                    19                    6                      <1                    <1

 

                                    cyclist % no different than noncyclist % (74% never; 26% 1+ times)

 

d. Should campus bike police be on campus during the day to remind cyclists about OSU bicycle safety rules?

 

Definitely No              1            2            3            4            5            Definitely Yes

% answering:              22            21            26            17            14

 

Mean: 2.81                  cyclists: 2.17            noncyclists: 3.15  * significant difference

 

 

e. Should campus police give cyclists tickets for failing to obey OSU bicycle safety rules?

 

Definitely No              1            2            3            4            5            Definitely Yes

% answering:              32            18            19            15            16

 

Mean: 2.66                  cyclists: 1.82            noncyclists: 3.11  * significant difference

                       

Summary: pedestrians, moreso than cyclists, believe that cyclists do not ride in a safe and responsible manner, and should be reminded and/or sanctioned for failing to follow traffic rules. Also, a large percent of persons on campus have been in collisions with cyclists.