Reading List: Equity and Biking

Check out some of these materials about barriers to biking and equity in biking! 

Here's an annotated bibliography of the sources that Lindsay and I used to inform our research project about barriers to biking. Enjoy!


Active Transportation Report (2015). Healthy Connections.

Community-based participatory research project about how to better include and engage communities of color in transportation planning, specifically biking and walking. Report compiled from 7 focus groups in Minneapolis and a survey of 52 respondents about biking and walking, and barriers faced to biking and walking. Focus groups included: African American Women, Hispanic, African American Muslim, Community Leaders (NMBAC), Youth, American Indian groups of respondents.

St. Paul Women on Bikes Strategic Planning Project: Summary of Discovery Findings “Help my kids love to bike” (2015). Contact St. Paul Women on Bikes for full report, summary found here:

Stakeholder interviews, focus groups with community members (Hmong, Latino, Public Housing, Youth Leadership) and Women on Bikes (WOB) Spokeswomen about barriers to biking, and how WOB can help get more people engaged in biking in Saint Paul.

Lindeke, W. (2015). In Search of New Riders: Affective Exclusions and Bicycle Planning in Minneapolis/Saint Paul.

Dissertation about the gap between planning approaches to promoting bicycling in the Twin Cities and the actual experience of people who bike in the Twin Cities. Lindeke argues that planning developed around a white, male, athletic, upperclass type of bicyclist and that planning for that type of bicyclist excludes many different types of riders, especially new riders. Analyzes current attempts to promote biking in the Twin Cities. 

Stewart, O., Moudon, A., Claybrooke, C. Common Ground: Eight Factors that influence walking and biking to school. (November 2012). Transport Policy.

Five articles using quantitative and qualitative data from focus groups, interviews, and surveys around barriers to biking and walking to school, identifying distance to school, parental fear of traffic and crime, family schedule constraints and values, neighborhood and family resources and culture, weather, and school characteristics as the eight common barriers.

At the Intersection of Active Transportation and Equity. Safe Routes to School Partnership.

Report that examines infrastructure amenities and disparities in amenities across different populations nationwide in the United States, showing how low-income communities and communities of color face greater transportation barriers and inequalities throughout the US.

Hoffman, M. Our Bikes in the Middle of the Street: Community-Building, Racism, and Gentrification in Urban Bicycle Advocacy. (2013).

Dissertation about potential for biking to build community, but also to reify racial and class disparities and be a gentrifying force in urban planning and development. Uses Milwaukee’s Riverview 24 bike race, Portland’s N. Williams Ave bike lanes, and the Greenway and bike infrastructure in Minneapolis as case studies. 

Parkin, J., Riley, T., Jones, T. Barriers to Cycling: An Exploration of Quantitative Analyses. (2007). Unversity of Bolton.

Exploration of ways of measuring the likelihood that someone will make the choice to bike, using the UK as an example population. Mostly discusses traffic counts and census data, but argues for the more comprehensive use of data-gathering techniques and statistical modeling to measure the growth of bicycling.

Bopp, M., Kaczynski, A., Wittman, P. The Relationship of Eco-Friendly Attitudes to Walking and Biking to Work. (2011). Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.

This study investigated whether eco-friendly attitudes influenced perceived barriers to active transportation. They found that people with stronger eco-friendly attitudes had higher self-efficacy for active transportation and perceived fewer barriers and more motivators for engaging in active transport. People with higher eco-friendly attitudes were much more likely to walk or bike to work. Study took place in Manhattan, KS.

Trends and Determinants of Cycling in Washington, D.C. (2011). Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center.

Study of commuting policies and trends in Washington, D.C. Report finds that cycling is on the rise, is concentrated in the urban core. Most cyclists are male, 25-40, white, and from higher income groups. Study found that bike routes and protected bikeways as well as end-of-route amenities at destinations were good predictors of bike commuting.

US Bicycling Participation Benchmarking Survey. (March 2015). Breakaway Research Group, commissioned by People for Bikes.

This report is based on an online survey conducted with Americans in Nov/Dec of 2014. A total of 16,193 adults over 18 completed the survey. Adults with children between the ages of 3-17 reported on a total of 8,853 children. Main barriers listed are lack of access to a bicycle (48% of households) and concern about being hit by traffic while riding (52% of respondents).

Bratman, E, and Jadhav, A. How Low-income Commuters View Cycling. (2014). CityLab.

Study from Washington DC around inequalities in commuting for low-income commuters, who face longer commute times on public transit from inaccessible neighborhoods. Wealthier residents decrease their car dependencies while poorer residents aspire to owning a car. Discusses barriers to cycling and suggests gradual policy shifts toward better cycling infrastructure and a socio-cultural shift toward bicycling.

Melody Hoffman has compiled a great list of articles about bikes and equity. Those articles can be found on her blog: 


Happy reading! 

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