Photo by John Williams

NCBW Newsroom - The Research Beat

The National & International Scene | Regional and Local Actions | The Research Beat | Resources | Jobs, Grants & RFPs

MEDIA COVERAGE OF PEDESTRIAN DEATHS IN THE US
-> Nashville Public Radio reported from a Walk Bike Nashville presentation given by 2 TN State University researchers. Their study found that roughly 45% of pedestrian fatalities go unreported in local news outlets, and that when they do, the details provided by police and journalists may be contributing to misperceptions about why pedestrians die. (Dying While Walking: Interrogating Media Coverage of Pedestrian Deaths in the United States: http://bit.ly/2zqrny6) They also found initial traffic crash reports don't seek many details about victims on foot — often only whether the person was in a crosswalk or wearing dark clothing. Those limited details, without more context, could lead to "victim blaming." Local news outlets then often pass on the basic facts without adding much original reporting. That can leave out details about the victim, and context about the quality of sidewalks and crosswalks, street lighting, other infrastructure and road conditions. http://bit.ly/2ug8GIL

[See National & International Scene for Drunk Walking Not Causing Rise in Ped Deaths item; and the Webinar section for "Pedestrians Are People Too: The Criminalization of Walking" on September 12.]

REVIEW OF WHAT WORKS TO PROMOTE WALKING AT POPULATION LEVEL
-> A GlobalPANet commentary observed the evidence on how to promote walking has been focused on individual approaches. Population approaches can reach across whole segments of people, but what works and at what scale remains under-evaluated. (http://bit.ly/2m7suJG) The authors of a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine systematically reviewed the effectiveness of 12 population-based approaches to promote walking and evaluated 5 types of public health mechanisms. For the first time, the authors found evidence from studies using 'natural experiments' on the overall effectiveness of approaches, particularly ones that combined three interventions– mass media, community initiatives and environmental change. What Works to Promote Walking at the Population Level? A Systematic Review: http://bit.ly/2NId8Ic

MODELLING DETERMINANTS OF WALKING AND CYCLING ADOPTION
-> A study, to be published this fall in the Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, proposed to uncover the determinants of walking and cycling adoption by applying a stage-of-change framework, modeling the adoption of active modes as a series of stages from pre-contemplation to maintenance. Results indicate that a model combining both demographic-personal and perceptual-attitudinal factors has the best fit and validity, suggesting that travel behavior interventions would benefit from multivariate segmentation methods that consider an array of individual and group characteristics. This research also gives evidence of different determinants motivating change processes for cycling versus walking. Modelling Determinants of Walking and Cycling Adoption: A Stage-of-Change Perspective: http://bit.ly/2NHSZ4R

INCENTIVES TO SHIFT FROM CAR COMMUTING TO E-CYCLING
-> An article published in the Journal of Transport & Health reports on the effects of an e-cycling incentive program in The Netherlands, in which commuters could earn monetary incentives when using their e-bike. The program appeared to be highly effective in stimulating e-bike use, as one month after the start of the program, the share of commute trips made by e-bike increased from 0% to 68%, with an increase up to 73% after half a year of participating. Half of the e-bike trips substitute car trips, with positive effects on environment, congestion and health. The other half substitutes conventional cycling trips, implying fever health benefits. Researchers also found e-bike use decreases with distance, but remains very substantial (64% for trips longer than 20km) after half a year of participation. Evaluation of an Incentive Program to Stimulate the Shift from Car Commuting to E-Cycling in The Netherlands: http://bit.ly/2NFbAPj

CROWDSOURCING TO PRIORITIZE BIKE NETWORK IMPROVEMENTS
-> STRIDE (the Southeast Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center) published a report of a study that used data collected using the Strava, CycleDixie and CycleAtlanta crowdsourced cycling smartphone applications to determine factors that influence route choice. These factors are studied through a) modeling cycling facility prioritization preferences, b) modeling cycling route segment and path choices, and c) developing route suitability scores and preference models. Researchers found that demographics, roadway characteristics and surrounding land-use had a significant impact on whether cyclists would use a particular street segment. Final report: Using Crowdsourcing to Prioritize Bicycle Route Network Improvements: http://bit.ly/2L9YdFb

RISK COMPENSATION & BICYCLE HELMETS
-> A study, to be published this fall in the Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, considered whether the potential safety effects of bicycle helmets are reduced by cyclists’ tendency to cycle faster when wearing them (as a result of risk compensation), and if this potential reduction can be associated with a change in perceived risk. The study tested whether the previously found reduction in speed in response to helmet removal – as an indirect indicator of risk compensation – could be established in non-routine helmet users, after a period of habituation while cycling with a helmet. Researchers conclude that risk compensation is an unlikely effect of using a bicycle helmet, and probably cannot explain any adverse effects related to helmet legislation. Risk Compensation Theory and Bicycle Helmets – Results from an Experiment of Cycling Speed and Short-Term Effects of Habituation: http://bit.ly/2NKfdTM

BICYCLE-RELATED INJURIES AMONG CHILDREN TREATED IN USERS
-> A study, to be published this fall in Accident Analysis & Prevention, found that more than 2.2 million children ages 5 to 17 were treated in US emergency departments for bicycle-related injuries from 2006 to 2015. That equates to more than 600 cases/day, or 25 every hour. Nearly 1/2 of the injuries studied involved children 10 to 14 years old and 3/4 of those injured were boys. Researchers found helmet use has demonstrated significant protective effects for traumatic brain injuries, head and neck injuries and hospitalizations, and motor vehicle involvement increased the risk of hospitalization. Bicycle-Related Injuries Among Children Treated in US Emergency Departments, 2006-2015: http://bit.ly/2NG9DC5

ON-ROAD MEASUREMENTS OF CYCLISTS' PHYSIOLOGICAL STRESS
-> A study, to be published this fall in the Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, used real-world, on-road measurements of physiological stress as cyclists traveled across different types of bicycle facilities at peak and off-peak traffic times. By matching videos with stressful events, it was possible to observe the circumstances of those stressful events. Novel statistical results from a multi-subject study quantifies the impact of traffic conditions, intersections, and bicycle facilities on average stress levels. Modeling the Impact of Traffic Conditions and Bicycle Facilities on Cyclists’ On-Road Stress Levels: http://bit.ly/2NJp7oP

UK: MOST WOMEN DON'T RIDE, BUT MOST SAY MORE CYCLING IS BETTER
-> Sustrans published a study that found almost three quarters (73%) of women living in 7 major cities in the United Kingdom never ride a bike for local journeys. However, over two-thirds (68%) say their city would be a better place to live and work if more people cycled. Across the cities, the vast majority of women surveyed (77%) feel that cycling safety needs to be improved. Despite these findings, almost a third (30%) who currently do not cycle say they would like to start riding and 76% of women who already cycle or want to start, would find cycle lanes that are physically separated from traffic very helpful to cycle more. The report also makes recommendations to create a more diverse and inclusive culture of cycling. Inclusive City Cycling: Women: Reducing the Gap: http://bit.ly/2NFAcr3