Determinants of bicycle use: do municipal policies matter?

P. Rietveld, V.E. Daniel

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademic


Bicycle use varies strongly between countries, and even between municipalities within the same country substantial variations may exist. This paper analyses to what extent municipality policies matter in explaining these variations. It appears that most of the inter-municipality variation in bicycle use is related to physical aspects such as altitude differences and city size, and features of the population (share of youngsters). Differences in ethnic composition also appear to matter. Important policy-related variables are: the number of stops cyclists have to make on their routes; hindrances in road use; and safety of cyclists. In addition the relative position of bicycles with respect to cars (speed, parking costs) also appears to matter. These results shed light on various components of the cyclists' generalised costs, such as those related to accidents and physical efforts, that are not usually considered. We also conclude that cultural tradition, possibly related to ethnicity deserves a more explicit role in travel surveys and the analysis of travel behaviour than it usually receives. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-550
Number of pages20
JournalTransportation Research. Part A: Policy & Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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