Towards an Analytical Tool to Connect Women in Low-income Neighbourhoods to Utilitarian Cycling Infrastructure in Guelph

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Jin, Sonia

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University of Guelph

Abstract

Cycling is a convenient, and affordable mode of active transportation linked to increased physical and mental health, as well as environmental and socioeconomic benefits. However, cycling represents a marginal mode of commuter transportation in Canada, undertaken primarily by men with high levels of income and education. The factors that deter women in low-income neighbourhoods from engaging in utilitarian cycling are poorly understood. This study employs parametric modeling software Grasshopper to develop an analytical tool capable of generation optimized cycling route recommendations, based on input parameters hypothesized to encourage greater female ridership. To evaluate the parameters, the analytical tool is used to connect a residential low-income neighbourhood in Guelph to utilitarian destinations such as grocery stores, schools, childcare services, and existing cycling networks. The results indicate that more direct routes, greater separation from vehicular traffic, and lower speed limits are required to encourage equitable access to utilitarian cycling.

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Keywords

landscape, architecture, women, low-income, utilitarian, commuter, transport, cycling, cycle, bicycle, Guelph, mobility

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