Background The purpose of this study is to examine the association between perception of neighborhood road safety and active modes of transportation among British Columbians to ensure healthy lives, and to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Methods A representative sample of adult (18+ years old) British Columbians was drawn from each of BC’s five regional health authorities (total n=842) and a survey questionnaire asking about their perceptions of neighbourhood road safety, use of physically active modes of transportation and recreation on neighbourhood streets was administered. Sample weighted values were used in all analyses reported here.
Results Among the survey participants, 65% wanted to walk or run more in their neighbourhood and identified traffic speed and traffic volume as barriers while availability of sidewalks, street lights and crosswalks were indicated as enabling factors. 45% of survey participants wanted to cycle more in their neighbourhood and indicated speed of cars and lack of bike lanes as the discouraging factors and built environment factors, particularly bike lanes were rated as encouraging factors. Younger persons were more likely to support bike lanes whereas older persons (50+) are more likely to oppose bike lanes.
Conclusion Safety perceptions of the local neighborhood road network may influence adults’ use of active transportation methods.
Learning Outcomes By improving the built environment and managing traffic speed and volume, community engagement on active transportation can be enhanced to achieve the goals of safe and sustainable cities and ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
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