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Exploring bikeability in a metropolitan setting: stimulating and hindering factors in commuting route environments
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Åstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology, The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Åstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology, The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3547-425X
2012 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 12, no 168Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Route environments may influence people’s active commuting positively and thereby contribute to public health. Assessments of route environments are, however, needed in order to better understand the possible relationship between active commuting and the route environment. The aim of this study was, therefore, to assess the potential associations between perceptions of whether the route environment on the whole hinders or stimulates bicycle commuting and perceptions of environmental factors.

Methods

The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES) was used for the assessment of bicycle commuters’ perceptions of their route environments in the inner urban parts of Greater Stockholm, Sweden. Bicycle commuters (n = 827) were recruited by advertisements in newspapers. Simultaneous multiple regression analyses were used to assess the relation between predictor variables (such as levels of exhaust fumes, noise, traffic speed, traffic congestion and greenery) and the outcome variable (hindering – stimulating route environments). Two models were run, (Model 1) without and (Model 2) with the item traffic: unsafe or safe included as a predictor.

Results

Overall, about 40% of the variance of hindering – stimulating route environments was explained by the environmental predictors in our models (Model 1, = 0.415, and Model 2, = 0.435). The regression equation for Model 1 was: y = 8.53 + 0.33 ugly or beautiful + 0.14 greenery + (−0.14) course of the route + (−0.13) exhaust fumes + (−0.09) congestion: all types of vehicles (p ≤ 0.019). The regression equation for Model 2 was y = 6.55 + 0.31 ugly or beautiful + 0.16 traffic: unsafe or safe + (−0.13) exhaust fumes + 0.12 greenery + (−0.12) course of the route (p ≤ 0.001).

Conclusions

The main results indicate that beautiful, green and safe route environments seem to be, independently of each other, stimulating factors for bicycle commuting in inner urban areas. On the other hand, exhaust fumes, traffic congestion and low ‘directness’ of the route seem to be hindering factors. Furthermore, the overall results illustrate the complexity of a research area at the beginning of exploration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 12, no 168
Keyword [en]
active commuting, route environment, cycling, The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES), Stockholm
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-1888DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-168OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-1888DiVA: diva2:444094
Projects
Physically Active Commuting in Greater Stockholm (www.gih.se/pacs)FAAP
Note

At the time of Lina Wahlgren's dissertation the article was a manuscript (pre print).

Available from: 2012-02-28 Created: 2011-09-27 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Studies on bikeability in a metropolitan area using the active commuting route environment scale (ACRES)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Studies on bikeability in a metropolitan area using the active commuting route environment scale (ACRES)
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES) was developed to study active commuters’ perceptions of their route environments. The overall aims were to assess the measuring properties of the ACRES and study active bicycle commuters’ perceptions of their commuting route environments.

Methods: Advertisement- and street-recruited bicycle commuters from Greater Stockholm, Sweden, responded to the ACRES. Expected differences between inner urban and suburban route environments were used to assess criterion-related validity, together with ratings from an assembled expert panel as well as existing objective measures. Reliability was assessed as test-retest reproducibility. Comparisons of ratings between advertisement- and street-recruited participants were used for assessments of representativity. Ratings of inner urban and suburban route environments were used to evaluate commuting route environment profiles. Simultaneous multiple linear regression analyses were used to assess the relation between the outcome variable: whether the route environment hinders or stimulates bicycle-commuting and environmental predictors, such as levels of exhaust fumes, speeds of traffic and greenery, in inner urban areas.

Results: The ACRES was characterized by considerable criterion-related validity and reasonable test-retest reproducibility. There was a good correspondence between the advertisement- and street-recruited participants’ ratings. Distinct differences in commuting route environment profiles between the inner urban and suburban areas were noted. Suburban route environments were rated as safer and more stimulating for bicycle-commuting. Beautiful, green and safe route environments seem to be, independently of each other, stimulating factors for bicycle-commuting in inner urban areas. On the other hand, high levels of exhaust fumes and traffic congestion, as well as low ‘directness’ of the route, seem to be hindering factors.

Conclusions: The ACRES is useful for assessing bicyclists’ perceptions of their route environments. A number of environmental factors related to the route appear to be stimulating or hindering for bicycle commuting. The overall results demonstrate a complex research area at the beginning of exploration.

Abstract [sv]

BAKGRUND: Färdvägsmiljöer kan tänkas påverka människors fysiskt aktiva arbetspendling och därmed bidra till bättre folkhälsa. Studier av färdvägsmiljöer är därför önskvärda för att öka förståelsen kring möjliga samband mellan fysiskt aktiv arbetspendling och färdvägsmiljöer. En enkät, ”The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale” (ACRES), har därför skapats i syfte att studera fysiskt aktiva arbetspendlares upplevelser av sina färdvägsmiljöer. Huvudsyftet med denna avhandling var dels att studera enkätens psykometriska egenskaper i form av validitet och reliabilitet, dels att studera arbetspendlande cyklisters upplevelser av sina färdvägsmiljöer.

METODER: Arbetspendlande cyklister från Stor-Stockholm rekryterades via tidningsannonsering och via direkt kontakt i anslutning till färdvägen. Deltagarna besvarade enkäten ACRES. Tillsammans med skattningar från en grupp av experter och redan existerande objektiva mått användes förväntade skillnader mellan färdvägsmiljöer i inner- och ytterstaden för att studera kriterierelaterad validitet. Reliabiliteten studerades som reproducerbarhet via upprepade mätningar (test-retest). Jämförelser mellan skattningar av deltagare rekryterade via annonsering och via direkt kontakt i färdvägsmiljöer användes för att studera representativitet. Skattningar av färdvägsmiljöer i inner- och ytterstaden användes vidare för att studera färdvägsmiljöprofiler. Multipel linjär regressionsanalys användes även för att studera sambandet mellan utfallsvariabeln huruvida färdvägsmiljön motverkar eller stimulerar arbetspendling med cykel och miljöprediktorer, såsom avgasnivåer, trafikens hastighet och grönska, i innerstadsmiljöer.

RESULTAT: Enkäten ACRES visade god kriterierelaterad validitet och rimlig reproducerbarhet. Det var en god överrensstämmelse mellan skattningar av deltagare rekryterade via annonsering och via direkt kontakt. Färdvägsmiljöprofilerna visade tydliga skillnader mellan inner- och ytterstadsmiljöer. Ytterstadens färdvägsmiljöer skattades som tryggare och mer stimulerande för arbetspendling med cykel än innerstadens färdvägsmiljöer. Vidare verkar vackra, gröna och trygga färdvägsmiljöer, oberoende av varandra, vara stimulerade faktorer för arbetspendling med cykel i innerstadsmiljöer. Däremot verkar höga avgasnivåer, höga trängselnivåer och färdvägar som kräver många riktningsändringar vara motverkande faktorer.

SLUTSATSER: Enkäten ACRES är ett användbart instrument vid mätningar av cyklisters upplevelser av sina färdvägsmiljöer. Ett antal faktorer relaterade till färdvägsmiljön verkar vara stimulerande respektive motverkande för arbetspendling med cykel. Generellt sett på visar resultaten ett relativt outforskat och komplext forskningsområde.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2011
Series
Örebro Studies in Sport Sciences, ISSN 1654-7535
Keyword
active transport, bicycle commuting, bikeability, multiple linear regression analysis, perception, reliability, route environment, validity
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-1873 (URN)
Public defence
2011-10-28, Aulan, GIH, Lidingövägen 1, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
FAAP
Note

Örebro universitet, Hälsoakademin

Available from: 2011-09-14 Created: 2011-09-14 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved

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