A Look at Traffic

Case studies to allow an analysis of traffic.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bike Survey Analysis - Irvine California Bike Path Study

Recently, a friend of mine and I had the chance to conduct a intercept survey on a nearby recreation path [map]. The Backbay bike/run/walk  multi-purpose trail is about 20 miles and has connection to the mountain-to-the-sea trail in Irvine and Newport Beach. Being an avid biker myself, it interested me who was using this trail for bike riding. Our team headed out to the trail to pass out a slip of paper with a link to the survey on it. We had a pretty high success rate of bikers taking the slips of paper, but lower rates of people actually filling out the survey online. Most bikers seamed to be OK with accepting a slip of paper while riding by at 15-20mph.

We spent 4 hours total on two different days passing out the survey from 7-9am. Once on a Saturday, the other on a Thursday. This allowed us to capture a typical work day morning, as well as a recreational morning.
     Sifting through the data, we have a variety of interesting results. I present a few charts and figures below to give a gist of what the data reveals. However I leave the free-response sections untouched, possibly to be talked about in a future blog post, or for the interested reader to inquire about.
     Just looking at age and gender demographics from our survey sample size of 56 responses, we can see that a majority of riders are male and over the hill.

From this we can see that bike riding is really for all ages! Besides some of the basic demographic questions, our survey also asked about why people were bike riding on the path. We wanted to know if they were riding for recreation, commuting or training purposes. No surprise that this varied by day of week. Overall our survey collection (with a bias), found that a majority of riders were biking on the trail for commuting purposes on Thursday and mainly for recreation on Saturday.

If we then classify riders by commuters, trainers and recreation riders, we can compared how many miles they traveled (on the given day they filled out our survey). This could be interesting to see if their is much of a difference between the millage among these rider types.

Rider TypeSample SizeAverage MilesStandard Deviation

This table gives us an idea that trainers and recreation riders do travel further on their bike than commuters. Although relatively an obvious statement, interesting to see the average commuter travels almost 20 miles.

In addition to our survey, we were able to conduct bicycle counts on the trail as well. Through the use of proprietary technology, we were also able to generate count's on the trail for a 72 hour period. The results from these counts are show below.
  • Thursday: 622 Counts
  • Friday: 736 Counts
  • Saturday: 1,537 Counts

This tells us that that this path is heavily used on not only weekends, but also during the week. It is very exciting to know that all this bike riding is going on, even if alot of these counts are round trips.

In conclusion, we can see that bike's are commonly used for recreation and commuting on the back bay trail. We can also tell that this trail is heavily used, and should be continued to be maintained for cyclist to use. The survey produced alot more data then shown here in this post, but that will have to wait till next time!


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