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Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Evaluating the transport, health and economic impacts of new urban cycling infrastructure in Sydney, Australia – protocol paper

Chris Rissel1*, Stephen Greaves2, Li Ming Wen13, Anthony Capon4, Melanie Crane1 and Chris Standen2

Author affiliations

1 Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, 92-94 Parramatta Road, Camperdown, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia

2 Institute of Transport & Logistics Studies (C13), University of Sydney Business School, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

3 Sydney and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts, Level 9, King George V Building, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia

4 University of Canberra, University Drive, Bruce Australian Capital Territory, Canberra 2617, Australia

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:963  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-963

Published: 17 October 2013

Abstract

Background

There are repeated calls to build better cycling paths in Australian cities if the proportion of people cycling is to increase. Yet the full range of transport, health, environmental and economic impacts of new cycling infrastructure and the extent to which observed changes are sustained is not well understood. The City of Sydney is currently building a new bicycle network, which includes a new bicycle path separated from road traffic in the south Sydney area. This protocol paper describes a comprehensive method to evaluate this new cycling infrastructure.

Method

A cohort of residents within two kilometres of the new bicycle path will be surveyed at baseline before a new section of bicycle path is built, and again 12 and 24 months later to assess changes in travel behaviour, sense of community, quality of life and health behaviours. Residents in a comparable area of Sydney that will not get a new separated bike path will act as a comparison group. At baseline a sub-set of residents who volunteer will also take a small GPS device with them for one week to assess travel behaviour.

Discussion

This research should contribute to the advancement in evaluation and appraisal methods for cycling projects.

Keywords:
Bicycle; Infrastructure; Physical activity; Cycling; Urban design