Date of Graduation

8-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geography (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

Fiona Davidson

Committee Member

John Hehr

Second Committee Member

Jason Tullis

Keywords

Alternative Transportation, Bicycle, Feasible, Greenway, Suitable, Trails

Abstract

Can a bicycle can be used in place of an automobile for everyday transportation and commuting needs? Fayetteville, Arkansas is a bicycle friendly and they plan continue to expand the current trail system improve other components in the future. Alternative transportation forms like the bicycle are important but only if bikes are integrated into traffic which needs to be done in some way that all involved understand their place in the system. By actively participating in this system I have attempted to show that a bicycle is just not feasible as a form of daily transportation in a city like Fayetteville. There are just some errands that cannot be physically accomplished by bike. Additionally, some days are not bikeable due to weather. Fayetteville poor infrastructure conditions, sidewalks come and go, trails go nowhere, and some just stop abruptly. Furthermore, it is my opinion that the on-street portion of the bicycle network is in such disrepair that it needs an overhaul.

This study focused on comparing the transportation plans to the bike system they describe. Questions include: is ridership affected by topography, weather, infrastructure, or integration in to the network. Many factors were considered such as the distance to improved bicycling facilities which may influence ridership. (Walk Bike, 2015) Other factors included the distances between features, accessibility of destinations, the law and its presentation, and misconceptions about the rights and purpose of the road. A firsthand experience of commuting regularly was a crucial component of this study and the only way to capture the truly qualitative aspects of this project. Riding journeys were captured with video and GPS documentation. This provides georeferenced data for some of the qualitative GIS analysis.

These previously mentioned conditions except for weather can be used as input to GIS. There are many questions to answer with a GIS which include: can voids in the system, proximity to components, topography, and areal arraignment be represented for a visual examination of the project. Mapping will create the visual tool needed to show that a bicycle is not a feasible year-round alternative form of transportation in Fayetteville, AR.

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