Department of Geography and Geology
Master of Science
Today automobile-related problems of congestion, air pollution, and aesthetic pollution are an ever-increasing concern for urban and suburban areas. In this thesis the researcher examines the bicycle as a viable alternative transportation mode. Research examines levels of bicycle transportation around the world and in the United States. A brief historical analysis of bicycle transportation in the United States revealed that bicycling was an important mode of transportation in the late 1800s. Bicycles regained popularity in the 1970s, and many cities began to develop plans in order to handle the sudden increase in bicycling. Case studies of both foreign and domestic cities indicate some of the central aspects of bicycle planning. Different bicycle planning approaches, as well as planning benefits, are discussed. In particular, the advantages of the bicycle integration approach are stressed. The bicycle integration approach is the basis for a case study analysis of Bowling Green, Kentucky. The purpose of the analysis was to assess the local transportation infrastructure for its bicycle suitability by applying the bicycle stress level model. In addition, an inventory of the hazards and deficiencies of the transportation infrastructure was incorporated into the analysis of bicycle suitability. I concluded that the overall infrastructure in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is currently not suitable for bicycle transportation. Included in the results is a discussion of specific problem areas and maps showing the bicycle suitability of individual street segments. Recommendations are made to increase the bicycle friendliness of Bowling Green, including the overall recommendation for wide curb lanes and paved shoulders. In addition, many specific recommendations for the mitigation of hazards and the correction of infrastructure deficiencies are discussed.
Gordon, Ryan, "The Bicycle as a Transportation Vehicle: An Assessment of Bicycle Suitability in Bowling Green, Kentucky" (1998). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 309.