Research Reports

Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program Evaluation Study, Phase 2

Principal Investigator:

Thomas Gotschi, Kevin Krizek, Laurie McGinnis, Jan Lucke, Joe Barbeau

May 2011

Report no. CTS 11-13

Topics: Bicycling, Pedestrian, Planning

The Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) is a Congressionally mandated program (SAFETEA-LU Section 1807) that, since 2006, has provided roughly $25 million each to four communities--Columbia, Missouri; Marin County, California; Minneapolis area, Minnesota; Sheboygan County, Wisconsin--to spur levels of walking and cycling via a variety of planning measures.

The University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies is leading the community-wide population surveys for the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP), specifically in phase 2, to measure changes in levels of walking and bicycling as a result of the enhanced conditions for walking and bicycling. To evaluate impacts of the program, two community-wide surveys were conducted before (phase 1: 2006) and after (phase 2: 2010) the pilot program.

This report describes the evaluation efforts based on community-wide population surveys. In contrast to project-specific evaluations, community-wide surveys serve the purpose of representatively assessing community-wide levels of nonmotorized travel behavior, which serve as the foundation for subsequent benefit calculations.

The survey in phase 1 consisted of a short mail-out questionnaire and a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) among respondents to the short questionnaire. In phase 2 the short questionnaire was integrated in the CATI. The final sample in phase 1 consisted of 1279 complete records and in phase 2 of 1807 complete records.

Statistical analysis focused on evaluating differences between phase 1 and phase 2 in the core variables on nonmotorized travel behavior. The detailed analysis did not reveal any consistent or statistically significant differences between phases 1 and 2. It is important to point out that the inability to detect significant patterns of change is not synonymous to no change occurring. The report discusses some of the factors that make this type of research challenging.

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