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Bikeability and methodological issues using the active commuting route environment scale (ACRES) in a metropolitan setting
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Åstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology, The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Åstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology, The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3547-425X
2011 (English)In: BMC Medical Research Methodology, ISSN 1471-2288, E-ISSN 1471-2288, Vol. 11, no 6Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background Route environments can positively influence people’s active commuting and thereby contribute to public health. The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES) was developed to study active commuters’ perceptions of their route environments. However, bicycle commuters represent a small portion of the population in many cities and thus are difficult to study using population-based material. Therefore, the aim of this study is to expand the state of knowledge concerning the criterion-related validity of the ACRES and the representativity using an advertisement-recruited sample. Furthermore, by comparing commuting route environment profiles of inner urban and suburban areas, we provide a novel basis for understanding the relationship between environment and bikeability.

Methods Bicycle commuters from Greater Stockholm, Sweden, advertisement- (n = 1379) and street-recruited (n = 93), responded to the ACRES. Traffic planning and environmental experts from the Municipality of Stockholm (n = 24) responded to a modified version of the ACRES. The criterion-related validity assessments were based on whether or not differences between the inner urban and the suburban route environments, as indicated by the experts and by four existing objective measurements were reflected by differences in perceptions of these environments. Comparisons of ratings between advertisement- and street-recruited participants were used for the assessments of representativity. Finally, ratings of inner urban and suburban route environments were used to evaluate commuting route environment profiles.

Results Differences in ratings of the inner urban and suburban route environments by the advertisement-recruited participants were in accord with the existing objective measurements and corresponded reasonably well with those of the experts. Overall, there was a reasonably good correspondence between the advertisement- and street-recruited participants’ ratings. Distinct differences in commuting route environment profiles were noted between the inner urban and suburban areas. Suburban route environments were rated as safer and more stimulating for bicycle-commuting than the inner urban ones. In general, the findings applied to both men and women.

Conclusions The overall results show: considerable criterion-related validity of the ACRES; ratings of advertisement-recruited participants mirroring those of street-recruited participants; and a higher degree of bikeability in the suburban commuting route environments than in the inner urban ones.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 11, no 6
Keyword [en]
bicycling, route environment, validity, representativity, perception, safety, inner urban, suburban
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-1648DOI: 10.1186/1471-2288-11-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-1648DiVA: diva2:379593
Projects
Physical Active Commuting in Greater Stockholm, www.gih.se/pacsFAAP
Available from: 2011-01-17 Created: 2010-12-18 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Studies on bikeability in a metropolitan area using the active commuting route environment scale (ACRES)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Studies on bikeability in a metropolitan area using the active commuting route environment scale (ACRES)
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES) was developed to study active commuters’ perceptions of their route environments. The overall aims were to assess the measuring properties of the ACRES and study active bicycle commuters’ perceptions of their commuting route environments.

Methods: Advertisement- and street-recruited bicycle commuters from Greater Stockholm, Sweden, responded to the ACRES. Expected differences between inner urban and suburban route environments were used to assess criterion-related validity, together with ratings from an assembled expert panel as well as existing objective measures. Reliability was assessed as test-retest reproducibility. Comparisons of ratings between advertisement- and street-recruited participants were used for assessments of representativity. Ratings of inner urban and suburban route environments were used to evaluate commuting route environment profiles. Simultaneous multiple linear regression analyses were used to assess the relation between the outcome variable: whether the route environment hinders or stimulates bicycle-commuting and environmental predictors, such as levels of exhaust fumes, speeds of traffic and greenery, in inner urban areas.

Results: The ACRES was characterized by considerable criterion-related validity and reasonable test-retest reproducibility. There was a good correspondence between the advertisement- and street-recruited participants’ ratings. Distinct differences in commuting route environment profiles between the inner urban and suburban areas were noted. Suburban route environments were rated as safer and more stimulating for bicycle-commuting. Beautiful, green and safe route environments seem to be, independently of each other, stimulating factors for bicycle-commuting in inner urban areas. On the other hand, high levels of exhaust fumes and traffic congestion, as well as low ‘directness’ of the route, seem to be hindering factors.

Conclusions: The ACRES is useful for assessing bicyclists’ perceptions of their route environments. A number of environmental factors related to the route appear to be stimulating or hindering for bicycle commuting. The overall results demonstrate a complex research area at the beginning of exploration.

Abstract [sv]

BAKGRUND: Färdvägsmiljöer kan tänkas påverka människors fysiskt aktiva arbetspendling och därmed bidra till bättre folkhälsa. Studier av färdvägsmiljöer är därför önskvärda för att öka förståelsen kring möjliga samband mellan fysiskt aktiv arbetspendling och färdvägsmiljöer. En enkät, ”The Active Commuting Route Environment Scale” (ACRES), har därför skapats i syfte att studera fysiskt aktiva arbetspendlares upplevelser av sina färdvägsmiljöer. Huvudsyftet med denna avhandling var dels att studera enkätens psykometriska egenskaper i form av validitet och reliabilitet, dels att studera arbetspendlande cyklisters upplevelser av sina färdvägsmiljöer.

METODER: Arbetspendlande cyklister från Stor-Stockholm rekryterades via tidningsannonsering och via direkt kontakt i anslutning till färdvägen. Deltagarna besvarade enkäten ACRES. Tillsammans med skattningar från en grupp av experter och redan existerande objektiva mått användes förväntade skillnader mellan färdvägsmiljöer i inner- och ytterstaden för att studera kriterierelaterad validitet. Reliabiliteten studerades som reproducerbarhet via upprepade mätningar (test-retest). Jämförelser mellan skattningar av deltagare rekryterade via annonsering och via direkt kontakt i färdvägsmiljöer användes för att studera representativitet. Skattningar av färdvägsmiljöer i inner- och ytterstaden användes vidare för att studera färdvägsmiljöprofiler. Multipel linjär regressionsanalys användes även för att studera sambandet mellan utfallsvariabeln huruvida färdvägsmiljön motverkar eller stimulerar arbetspendling med cykel och miljöprediktorer, såsom avgasnivåer, trafikens hastighet och grönska, i innerstadsmiljöer.

RESULTAT: Enkäten ACRES visade god kriterierelaterad validitet och rimlig reproducerbarhet. Det var en god överrensstämmelse mellan skattningar av deltagare rekryterade via annonsering och via direkt kontakt. Färdvägsmiljöprofilerna visade tydliga skillnader mellan inner- och ytterstadsmiljöer. Ytterstadens färdvägsmiljöer skattades som tryggare och mer stimulerande för arbetspendling med cykel än innerstadens färdvägsmiljöer. Vidare verkar vackra, gröna och trygga färdvägsmiljöer, oberoende av varandra, vara stimulerade faktorer för arbetspendling med cykel i innerstadsmiljöer. Däremot verkar höga avgasnivåer, höga trängselnivåer och färdvägar som kräver många riktningsändringar vara motverkande faktorer.

SLUTSATSER: Enkäten ACRES är ett användbart instrument vid mätningar av cyklisters upplevelser av sina färdvägsmiljöer. Ett antal faktorer relaterade till färdvägsmiljön verkar vara stimulerande respektive motverkande för arbetspendling med cykel. Generellt sett på visar resultaten ett relativt outforskat och komplext forskningsområde.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2011
Series
Örebro Studies in Sport Sciences, ISSN 1654-7535
Keyword
active transport, bicycle commuting, bikeability, multiple linear regression analysis, perception, reliability, route environment, validity
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-1873 (URN)
Public defence
2011-10-28, Aulan, GIH, Lidingövägen 1, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
FAAP
Note

Örebro universitet, Hälsoakademin

Available from: 2011-09-14 Created: 2011-09-14 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved

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