Lowry, M. & Hadden Loh, T. (2017). Quantifying Bicycle Network Connectivity. Prev Med. 95(Suppl), S134-S140.
The intent of this study was to compare bicycle network connectivity for different types of bicyclists and different neighborhoods. Connectivity was defined as the ability to reach important destinations, such as grocery stores, banks, and elementary schools, via pathways or roads with low vehicle volumes and low speed limits. The analysis was conducted for 28 neighborhoods in Seattle, Washington under existing conditions and for a proposed bicycle master plan, which when complete will provide over 700 new bicycle facilities, including protected bike lanes, neighborhood greenways, and multi-use trails. The results showed different levels of connectivity across neighborhoods and for different types of bicyclists. Certain projects were shown to improve connectivity differently for confident and non-confident bicyclists. The analysis showed a positive correlation between connectivity and observed utilitarian bicycle trips. To improve connectivity for the majority of bicyclists, planners and policy-makers should provide bicycle facilities that allow immediate, low-stress access to the street network, such as neighborhood greenways. The analysis also suggests that policies and programs that build confidence for bicycling could greatly increase connectivity.