Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering


Dr. Fred L. Hall


Dr. Brian W. Baetz


This research uses Geographic Information System (GIS) databases to manipulate the actual travel routes used by urban commuter cyclists to address issues related to bicycle route choice and bicycle safely.

Chapter 2 compares previously collected routes from Guelph to the shortest path routes. Most commuters divert little (0.4 km on average) and use major road routes. Although the cyclists tend to avoid grades, grade-separated railway crossings and high activity areas, they do not avoid high speed traffic or bridges. The cyclists use traffic signals especially for crossing major roadways and for turning. High-quality off-road paths are used infrequently, the lower quality ones even less.

Chapter 3 uses a logit model for route choice. The choice set determination is critical logic that checks alternative routes for duplication of attribute combinations is used. A multinomial logit model that exhibited independence from irrelevant alternatives is estimated. The model identifies route attributes similar to those described above. In addition, personal variables (age, gender, winter cycling) were found to be significant.

Chapter 4 describes the survey methodology used to collect two larger commuter bicycle route datasets in Toronto and Ottawa. Questionnaires containing a map for route collection as well as questions relating to cycling patterns and accident history were placed on cross-bars of parked bicycles. The return rate was 47% of the 6043 questionnaires.

The overall rates per 100,000 commuter kilometres of collisions, falls, injuries and major injuries were found to be 3.26, 9.51, 7.60 and 1.10 respectively (Chapter 5). These are approximately 10 times comparable rates for automobiles. The GIS was used to determine the distance in the regular route that was undertaken on-road, off-road or on sidewalks in the Ottawa study area. Collision rates on different infrastructure were not statistically different. However, injury and fall rates were highest on sidewalks (4 times that of roads) followed by off-road paths (1.6 times that of roads).

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