Investing in sustainable, multimodal infrastructure is of increasing importance throughout the United States and worldwide. Cities are increasingly making strategic capital investment decisions about bicycle infrastructure—decisions that need planning efforts that accurately assess the equity aspects of developments, achieve equitable distribution of infrastructures, and draw upon accurate assessment methods. Toward these efforts, this project uses a granular bike network dataset with statistical and geospatial analyses to quantify a bike infrastructure availability score (i.e., bike score) that accounts for the safety and comfort differences in bike path classes in San José, California. San José is the 10th largest U.S. city and a growing tech hub with a booming economy, factors that correlate with increased traffic congestion if adequate multimodal and active transportation infrastructure are not in place. Therefore, San José has been keen on becoming “one of the most bike-friendly communities in North America.” The City’s new plan, which builds on its first bike plan adopted in 2009, envisions a 557-mile network of all-ages-and-abilities bikeways to support a 20% bicycle mode split (i.e., 20% of all trips to be made by bike) by 2050. Hence, San José makes a perfect study area for piloting this project’s methodology for accurately assessing the equity of urban bike plans and infrastructures. The project uses the above-mentioned bike score (representing the bike infrastructure supply status) and San José residents’ bike travel patterns (to show bike trip demand status) utilizing StreetLight data to answer the following questions: (1) Where are San José's best (bike paradise) and worst (bike desert) regions for cycling? (2) How different are the socioeconomic attributes of San José’s bike desert and paradise residents? (3) Has San José succeeded in achieving an equitable infrastructure distribution and, if so, to what extent? And, (4) has the availability of infrastructure attracted riders from underserved communities and, if so, to what extent? Using the bike infrastructure availability score, this research measures and maps the City of San José's best and worst regions for cycling through geospatial analyses to answer Question 1 above. Further spatial and statistical analyses including t-tests, Pairwise Pearson correlation analysis, descriptive analysis, spatial visualization, principal component analysis (PCA), and multiple regression models to answer Questions 2, 3, and 4. In addition to this report, the findings are used to develop an open access web-tool, the San José Bike Equity Web Map (SJ-BE iMap). This research contributes to the critical assessment and planning efforts of sustainable, multimodal infrastructure in California and beyond.
Active Transportation, Sustainable Transportation and Land Use
Digital Object Identifier
Mineta Transportation Institute URL
bicycle, equity, San José
Transportation | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning
Ahoura Zandiatashbar, Jochen Albrecht, and Hilary Nixon. "A Bike System for All in Silicon Valley: Equity Assessment of Bike Infrastructure in San José, CA" Mineta Transportation Institute Publications (2023). https://doi.org/10.31979/mti.2023.2162