Thursday, May 10, 2007

Davis studies its bicycling activity

Image of bicyclists on the campus of UC DavisFrom the California Aggie (UC Davis), 05.09.07:

UC Davis professor speaks on biking in city of Davis

UC Davis professor of environmental science and policy Susan Handy was a featured speaker this month at the Spring Transportation Studies series in Portland, Ore., where she presented findings from three studies focusing on bicycling in Davis. Her presentation, coinciding with National Bike Month, chronicled the history of cycling in Davis as well as some of the factors that make Davis the country's only platinum-certified bicycle-friendly city.

While many Davis residents have incorporated biking into their daily routines, the phenomenon has not been widely studied until now. Handy's studies include comparing Davis to five other similar cities to determine what makes Davis distinct and surveying parents to see how often people are biking to soccer games.

Handy compared Davis to Boulder, Colo., for example, and determined that while the cities share some similarities, their bike culture is quite different.

"In Boulder, biking culture is more of a recreational biking culture where people buy fancy bikes and spend money on their bikes, whereas in Davis, it's more of an 'anyone can bike' place," Handy said. "It's clear that when people move to Davis, a lot of times people are moving to Davis just because it is a bike city." (Read more.)
Having grown homesick posting about cycling on Martha's Vinyard, I thought in necessary to post this from my present region of habitation. Davis has seen by many as a living laboratory of bicycling infrastructure.

Surprisingly for a community with a major research university, Davis has conducted little directed study of its bicycling activity. Bicycling is somewhat taken for granted. Problems and concerns aren't identified without research. Fortunately Dr. Handy and her students have risen to the challenge.

Image: Debbie Aldridge/University Communications/UC Davis
Visit: Davis commemorates 50 years of bicycling
Visit: Where the bikes are
Visit: "Bike mecca" needs bike mechanics
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips

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