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Cycling willingness: Investigating distance as a dependent variable in cycling behavior among college students

Wuerzer, Thomas, Mason, Susan G.
Applied geography 2015 v.60 pp. 95-106
adverse effects, college students, gender, geographic information systems, geography, health surveys, humans, infrastructure, regression analysis, transportation
We present a novel approach to understanding distance as a barrier to cycling and its use as a dependent variable in multinomial logistic regression. In doing so, this study explores distances in relation to spatially and relevant human factors such as gender and propensity to cycle among college students. College students (N = 949) participated in a health survey and stated possible predictors of cycling based on their cycle usage and preferences in the previous 30 days. While utilizing GIS in a bicycle-friendly network, we created geo-statistical GIS-groupings and performed multinomial logistic regression analysis. We examined college students to discover how their demographic and personal characteristics may mediate the deterrent properties of distance when considered as a dependent variable in cycling to a college campus. Age and propensity for cycling for transportation mediate the negative effect of distance on the likelihood of cycling. The findings also suggest that infrastructure improvements could lessen the impact of distance as a barrier to cycling and increase the likelihood of cycling for commuting.