Publication Detail

 Factors Associated with Bicycling to High School: Insights from Davis, CA

UCD-ITS-RP-11-107

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Suggested Citation:
Emond, Catherine R. and Susan L. Handy (2011)  Factors Associated with Bicycling to High School: Insights from Davis, CA. Journal of Transport Geography 20, 71 - 79

Rates of walking and bicycling to school in the US have been declining for decades, with implications for public health and the environment. Planners and policy makers are looking for ways to reverse the trend through such programs as Safe Routes to School. However, the research on school travel mirrors the policies in leaving important gaps: most studies focus on elementary students rather than high school students, and many focus on walking rather than bicycling. This study addresses both of these gaps. Our goal is to provide a better understanding of what encourages or discourages bicycling among high school students using data from a 2009 survey of students at Davis High School in Davis, CA. The analysis points to individual, social-environment, and physical-environment factors as important in explaining bicycling to school for high school students. Parental encouragement and the student’s comfort with bicycling are key factors, and perceived distance is more strongly associated with bicycling than actual distance. These results suggest the need for multi-pronged efforts to increase bicycling among high school students.