Longitudinal evaluation of travel and health outcomes in relation to new bicycle infrastructure, Sydney, Australia

Melanie Crane, Chris Rissel, Chris Standen, Adrian Ellison, Richard Ellison, Li Ming Wen, Stephen Greaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background This study sought to evaluate the health and transport impacts of urban bicycle infrastructure for transport through a commuting corridor in Sydney, Australia. Methods An online survey and seven-day travel diary collected health and travel data from intervention area residents, and residents of a control area with similar characteristics and distance from the city, at baseline (n = 846), and follow-up, four months (wave 2; n = 512) and 16 months (wave 3; n = 418) post-construction. Multilevel regression modelling was used to compare changes over time with distance from the cycleway. Results In wave 3 24.5% of the intervention group reported using the new cycleway. Residents who started using the cycleway predominantly lived within 1 km of the cycleway (62%); however 13% of users in wave 3 lived more than 3 km from the cycleway. Frequent cycling (weekly) was strongly associated with use of the cycleway (p < 0.001), and remained consistent between waves 2 and 3 (p = 0.3). Changes in cycling frequency associated with distance from the cycleway were observed over time; specifically, those who lived 1.00–2.99 km from the cycleway increased their weekly cycling, compared with those either closer to or further from the cycleway (p = 0.08). These findings were replicated in a smaller sample of cyclists who recorded minutes/week cycling (p = 0.007). Improved social capital was observed in the intervention group over time; however, changes in physical activity and quality of life were not observed within the time period. Conclusions Cycling participation has been decreasing in Sydney and Australia in recent years; however, urban bicycle transport infrastructure can have a positive impact on cycling, particularly urban cycling for transport, and has the potential to improve health and transport outcomes for city residents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-395
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Transport and Health
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bicycle infrastructure
  • transport impact assessment
  • health impact assessment
  • Sydney
  • longitudinal assessment

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