Creating an Inclusive Bicycle Level of Service Performance Measure

Creating an Inclusive Bicycle Level of Service Performance Measure

Research Lead

Julia Griswold
University of California, Berkeley

Funding Organization

University of California Institute of Transportation Studies

Problem Statement

Bicycle level of service (BLOS) is an essential performance measure for transportation agencies to monitor and prioritize improvements to infrastructure. However, existing measures do not capture the nuances of bicycle activity on different types of road facilities. Caltrans has already funded a study with UC Berkeley SafeTREC, to develop a road segment-level BLOS model and a pilot proof-of-concept intersection-level BLOS approach using an online bicyclist user experience survey. Recent improvements to virtual reality (VR) technology makes a bicycle simulator an ideal additional tool to safely gather user feedback for a variety of bicycling environments and conditions. Historically, however, simulator studies have not utilized a diverse sample of participants. Gathering a racially and economically inclusive sample for this research requires outreach to a variety of advocacy groups and cycling clubs, conducting the survey in languages besides English, and providing incentives for participation.

Project Description:

This research will conduct an in-person bicyclist user experience survey using SafeTREC’s virtual reality bicycle simulator and an online survey in at least two languages, including English and Spanish. SafeTREC has established relationships with community-based organizations and can reach out to a broad base of racially and economically diverse California cyclists to participate in the survey. The research will provide incentives to attract participation from populations that do not normally participate in research. The research team will use the survey data to examine the relationships between demographic characteristics, types of cycling, and the participants’ preferences for different types of cycling facilities. The team will also compare participant responses to the videos in the online survey with the immersive experience in the simulator to validate the use of videos in future research. In addition, the survey results will be used in developing the BLOS models.