Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Research May Lead To Better Cycling Routes in Taiwan

A recent paper published by two researchers from Taiwan's National Cheng Kung University seeks to improve infrastructure planning around popular cycling routes in Taiwan. The researchers analyzed survey data that divided riders by frequency (ability) and evaluated their calculous in choosing routes.

One major problem with the cycling routes the government has plotted around Taiwan has been the manner in which the routes are designed and allocated. Taiwan's cycling routes are often designed without consulting the community the routes are supposed to serve, and often lack many of the features that cyclists look for when choosing routes. Routes are designed in a top-down manner in which the central and local government mandates a route and it is built (often with political considerations in mind).

Another problem is the complete disorganization of cycling advocacy in Taiwan. There are few, if any, organized cycling advocacy groups the government can turn to for advice. It is not surprising in light of Taiwan's recent political history that Taiwan's cyclists avoid joining cycling advocacy groups that could act as a political force or may cross existing lines of political affiliation.

Click on the title for the full paper or simply read the conclusion at the bottom:

Estimating recreational cyclists’

preference on bicycle route facility

-Evidence from Taiwan

Ching-Fu Chen ,National Cheng Kung University

Pei-Chun Chen ,National Cheng Kung University


This paper analyses recreational cyclists’ preference for attributes of bicycle route

facility in Taiwan. The SP method was conducted in which recreational cyclists were

asked to state their choice from three unlabelled bicycle routes’ alternatives on the

basis of their attributes. Choice modeling was applied to the collected data and

recreational cyclists’ preferences for each attribute are estimated. This study used

MNL model which include facility attributes and ASC interaction with recreational

specialization dimensions; the model captures the systematic heterogeneity in

recreational cyclists’ preference. Subsequently, LCM is used to account for

heterogeneity in the preference of bicycle route and facility attributes.

Empirical MNL results indicate that recreational cyclists prefer bicycle routes with

attraction along the route, basic facilities including toilet and simple maintain

equipment, tourist information center, and bike path. In addition, recreational cyclists

who have frequent participation in cycling are more likely to prefer bike route. For the

frequent recreational cyclist, bike route can provide diverse experience. Recreational

cyclists who take long time in cycling are likely to prefer restaurant service, and low

cognitive level in recreational specialization cyclists are more likely to choice leisure


Using LCM with segment membership functions for predicting segment

membership of recreational cyclists, it allows for explicit identification of recreational

specialization concept. Moreover, LCM also improves the model fit to the data, and

allows for testing the impact of recreational specialization variable on segment

membership. As a result, high recreational specialization cyclists are more likely than

low recreational specialization cyclists to choice challenge and endurance grading


From a managerial perspective, bicycle route should be classified according to

different group of recreational cyclist, for instance, riding experience, distance, slope,

etc. In addition, base on safety conscious, roadway type is very important attribute to

consider bicycle route. Bicycle path is separate from general roadway that cyclists can

use exclusively route. It can improve safety considerations for barriers to bicycle use.

From a long term perspective, increasing the number of recreational cyclists would

contribute to efforts to increase the number of commuting cyclists."



  1. Pardon if I've missed a post on this, but what do you think contributes to the lack of organized cycling advocacy? I had some great conversations with the Cycling-Lifestyle Foundation folks about advocating for better transportation infrastructure, but they've obviously got a particular alignment that isn't driven primarily by rider desires.

  2. I have a few post in here about tourism and commuting and bike paths. I think I will expand on this later. In short, I think one of the main problems is that cycling infrastructure is very focused on for-profit enterprises, like tourism, where politicians and their patrons can reap a financial windfall. In almost every case, economy will trump sustainability. Taiwan is really trying to drive the tourism industry right now and bicycle tourism is part of that. There is a lot of room for hoteliers, retailers, restauranteers, to make money in tourism... as well as local construction interests. Tourism is also a good way to drive up land values in more remote areas where land can still be snapped up on the cheap. Transportation is not a priority that can compete with more immediate material benefits for a few entrepreneurs and their partners.

    There are socio-political factors, historical experience, economic factors etc...

    Here is a bit of the current admins. environmental record and more: