Impacts of Bicycle Infrastructure in Mid-Sized Cities (IBIMS): protocol for a natural experiment study in three Canadian cities

Meghan Winters, Michael Branion-Calles, Suzanne Therrien, Daniel Fuller, Lise Gauvin, David G.T. Whitehurst, Trisalyn Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Bicycling is promoted as a transportation and population health strategy globally. Yet bicycling has low uptake in North America (1%-2% of trips) compared with European bicycling cities (15%-40% of trips) and shows marked sex and age trends. Safety concerns due to collisions with motor vehicles are primary barriers.To attract the broader population to bicycling, many cities are making investments in bicycle infrastructure. These interventions hold promise for improving population health given the potential for increased physical activity and improved safety, but such outcomes have been largely unstudied. In 2016, the City of Victoria, Canada, committed to build a connected network of infrastructure that separates bicycles from motor vehicles, designed to attract people of 'all ages and abilities' to bicycling.This natural experiment study examines the impacts of the City of Victoria's investment in a bicycle network on active travel and safety outcomes. The specific objectives are to (1) estimate changes in active travel, perceived safety and bicycle safety incidents; (2) analyse spatial inequities in access to bicycle infrastructure and safety incidents; and (3) assess health-related economic benefits.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The study is in three Canadian cities (intervention: Victoria; comparison: Kelowna, Halifax). We will administer population-based surveys in 2016, 2018 and 2021 (1000 people/city). The primary outcome is the proportion of people reporting bicycling. Secondary outcomes are perceived safety and bicycle safety incidents. Spatial analyses will compare the distribution of bicycle infrastructure and bicycle safety incidents across neighbourhoods and across time. We will also calculate the economic benefits of bicycling using WHO's Health Economic Assessment Tool.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study received approval from the Simon Fraser University Office of Research Ethics (study no. 2016s0401). Findings will be disseminated via a website, presentations to stakeholders, at academic conferences and through peer-reviewed journal articles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e019130
JournalBMJ Open
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 21 2018

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Bicycling
Safety
Victoria
Spatial Analysis
Economics
Health
Motor Vehicles
Population
Research Ethics
North America
Canada

Keywords

  • active transportation
  • bicycling
  • natural experiment
  • population health
  • safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Impacts of Bicycle Infrastructure in Mid-Sized Cities (IBIMS) : protocol for a natural experiment study in three Canadian cities. / Winters, Meghan; Branion-Calles, Michael; Therrien, Suzanne; Fuller, Daniel; Gauvin, Lise; Whitehurst, David G.T.; Nelson, Trisalyn.

In: BMJ Open, Vol. 8, No. 1, 21.01.2018, p. e019130.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Winters, Meghan ; Branion-Calles, Michael ; Therrien, Suzanne ; Fuller, Daniel ; Gauvin, Lise ; Whitehurst, David G.T. ; Nelson, Trisalyn. / Impacts of Bicycle Infrastructure in Mid-Sized Cities (IBIMS) : protocol for a natural experiment study in three Canadian cities. In: BMJ Open. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 1. pp. e019130.
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