Dwelling Type Matters: Untangling the Paradox of Dwelling Type and Mode Choice
(By Trudy Ledsham, Steven Farber, and Nate Wessel) has just been accepted to the Transportation Research Record!
Urban intensification is believed to result in modal shift away from automobiles to more active forms of transportation. This work extends our understanding of bicycle mode choice and the influence of built form, through analysis of dwelling type, density and mode choice. Both apartment dwelling and active transportation are related to intensification, but our understanding of the impact of increased density on bicycling is muddied by lack of isolation of cycling from walking in many studies, and lack of controls for the confounding effects of dwelling type. This paper examines the relationship between dwelling type and mode choice in Toronto. Controlling for 25 variables, this study of 223,232 trips used multinomial logistic regression analysis to estimate relative risk ratios. Compared to driving, we found strong evidence that a trip originating from an apartment-based household was less than half as likely to be taken by bicycle as a similar trip originating in a house-based household in Toronto in 2011. Increased population density of the household location had a positive impact on the likelihood of a trip being taken by walking and a negligible and uncertain impact on the likelihood of it being taken by transit, but a
negative impact on bicycling. Further analysis found the negative impact of density does not seem to apply to those living in single detached housing, but rather it only negatively impacts the likeliness of cycling among apartment and townhouse dwellers. Further research is required to identify the exact barriers to cycling, apartment dwellers experience.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide a direct link to the paper at this time, but we’ll provide a link to TRR once the paper is published.