Surveying Silicon Valley on Cycling, Travel Behavior, and Travel Attitudes

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Surveying Silicon Valley on Cycling, Travel Behavior, and Travel Attitudes


This report presents the results from a March 2020 survey of Santa Clara County residents about their current travel behavior, overall thoughts on travel, and opinions about various forms of transportation in particular. While the instrument inquired about all modes of transportation, the survey was particularly focused on attitudes and behavior related to cycling. A total of 1,009 responses were included in the analysis. Overall, the study confirms that private motor vehicle travel dominates, with approximately 90 percent of respondents reporting that they drive in an average week and own cars. However, the results also show greater use of alternatives than the census data indicate by virtue of greater trip types captured here compared to the American Community Survey. This survey shows that approximately 13 percent of respondents ride a bicycle for any purpose in an average week. Results from the attitudinal questions point to strong demand for automobile use, but they also illustrate several problematic aspects of an auto-dominated transportation system. Similarly, for cycling, the survey results indicate general support for the idea of more cycling, but they highlight several notable barriers. Notably, the survey was a ministered in the field from March 6 through March 13, 2020, prior to COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders covering the study area.



Dr. Fang is an Assistant Professor of Geography, Environment, and Planning at Sonoma State University. His research interests center on the characteristics of sustainable modes of transportation and their users and how land use and local policy can facilitate or impede their use. He has conducted recent work on emerging “micromobility” trends, conducting some of the earliest research on electric scooter systems and cities. Kevin holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley in Integrative Biology; a Masters of City and Regional Planning and an MS in Engineering (Specialization in Transportation Planning) from the California Polytechnic State University; and a PhD from the University of California, Davis in Transportation, Technology, and Policy.

August 2020
Travel surveys
Mode choice
Stated preferences



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