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The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is the University of
Minnesota's school of policy and planning.


State and Local Policy Program

Bicycling and Nonmotorized Transportation

University of Minnesota researchers have worked on several projects to develop guidelines for planners implementing bicycling facilities. This work has been supported by grants from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) and includes involvement with Mn/DOT's Nonmotorized Transportation Research Committee.

The motivation for the University's work on bicycling facilities stems from the belief among some bicycle advocates and others that bicycle facilities can be marginalized in the general transportation planning process because of a lack of quantitative evaluation. Highway and transit investments are evaluated and justified using standard methodologies to estimate benefits and costs; no equivalent tools exist for bicycle-related investments. The hope is that better quantitative estimation tools not only will lead to better decisions regarding implementation of bicycling facilities, but also will further legitimize bicycle investments more generally.

The focus of this research has followed these four general objectives:

  • To compare investments in bicycling with other modes.
  • To quantify the benefits of bicycling facilities.
  • To identify key indicators of successful bicycling facilities.
  • To better integrate bicycling into the general transportation planning process.

Previous Research

The most recent research project for Mn/DOT was "The Impact of Bicycling Facilities on Commute Mode Share."  This included the following:

  • Identifying case study cities with significant bicycle facility construction during the 1990s and gathering spatial data on these facilities.
  • Comparing change in each city's bicycle commute mode share around facilities between 1990 (pre-construction) and 2000 (post-construction)
  • Performing statistical significance tests on the change in localized bicycle commute rates.
  • Interviewing bicycle planning coordinators from each case study city to understand localized context for changing bicycle commuting rates.
  • Identifying key factors that were present in cities that experienced statistically significant increase in bicycle commute mode share.
  • Research manuscript:  "Estimating the Economic Benefits of Bicycling and Bicycle Facilities:  An Interpretive Review and Proposed Methods"
  • Research manuscript:  "The End of the Road:  Factors Affecting Discontinuities of On-Street Bicycle Lanes in Urban Settings," "What is at the end of the road? Understanding discontinuities of non-street bicycle lanes in urban settings," by Kevin J. Krizek and Rio W. Roland, in Transportation Research Part D 10 (2005) pp. 55-68.

SLPP Bicycling Reports

SLPP Bicycling Papers

Biking at the University of Minnesota

The University has been named a bicycle friendly business, receiving the "silver" designation by the League of American Bicyclists during a national bike summit in Washington, D.C. The University makes bicycling an easy option for transportation, providing conveniences like bike paths, lanes, racks, and lockers. The U is committed to establishing, maintaining, and improving a comprehensive transportation system that reduces congestion, eases accessibility, and enhances the community. For more information, see bicycle friendly U.

A U OF M BIKE CENTER GRAND OPENING event will take place September 29, 2011, noon-2 p.m., at its location in the Oak Street Ramp. The event will include building tours, refreshments, prizes, and more. The Bike Center will offer a range of services from repairs and accessories to showers and educational classes. For more information, see bike center opening.