Why do you cycle on that route?
Safe cycling has become a priority in many New Zealand cities and a large investment in cycleways is underway. To maximize the benefit, it is important to have insight into cyclists’ preferences and factors influencing cyclist route choice. Previous, studies about preferences were typically done by asking respondents to rank/rate factors important to them, without linking those ranked/rated factors with respondents’ choices. Thus, such an approach cannot assess the changes in preferences and choices when there is interaction between factors. For example, cyclists’ route choices may change depending upon combinations of ‘levels/states’ of the ‘bicycle lane’ and ‘road hierarchy’ factors. Furthermore, when designing cycle networks/routes, it is not always possible to optimise them with respect to all factors. The stated preference method, used in this study, presented respondents with pairs of scenarios, involving different combinations of factor ‘levels’, and asked which were preferred, highlighting ‘trade-off’ between factors. In this study, the factors of travel time, road hierarchy, on-street car parking and bicycle lanes were investigated. The responses were used to estimate choice models, indicating the relative importance of those factors. Ultimately, these results can be used to assist in the design of better cycle routes, hence, increasing cycle route use.