Two recent research reports that may be of interest:
1. In January 2010, respected researchers John Pucher, Jennifer Dill, and Susan Handy released a comprehensive review of 139 studies to assess the effects of various interventions on levels of bicycling. The researchers found that it was difficult to generalize about which bicycle-friendly policies and programs are the most effective since so few existing research studies contain evaluation both before and after a change is made and “control” groups are rarely used. “Without an experimental design, it is difficult or impossible to control for other relevant factors such as cost and convenience of car use, income levels, urban form, and other factors that might be more important in affecting bicycling levels than explicitly pro-bicycle policies.” The report, titled “Infrastructure, Programs and Policies to Increase Bicycling: An International Review,” was published in the Preventive Medicine journal and can be downloaded for free “here.
2. A recent technical report by the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas at Austin provides an excellent in-depth look at the effects of on-street parking on cyclists. Over 6,400 observations of motorists and/or cyclists adjacent to on-street parking revealed some interesting findings: that “on-street parking has a significant impact on motorist and cyclist position; a bike lane combined with a buffer space is the only way to completely remove cyclists from the door zone, and operationally, a bicycle lane is more effective than a wide outside lane”. The researchers also developed a web-based survey completed by 1,863 respondents that found that bicyclists prefer routes without on-street parking. As a result of the study, the Texas Department of Transportation updated its bike facilities guide. Download a PDF version of the report here. Thanks to Active Transportation Canada for posting this report and many more valuable resources.