Advertisement

Supplemental infrastructure: how community networks and immigrant identity influence cycling

  • Jesus M. Barajas
Article

Abstract

While factors such as urban form, infrastructure, and attitudes shape cycling behavior, the experience of cycling can vary drastically across socioeconomic and identity groups. For foreign-born residents of the United States, additional factors associated with income and cultural context may influence cycling. In this study, I ask how factors associated with being an immigrant, such as economic status, cultural habits, residential location, and social environments, motivate or deter cycling. Results are based on 23 in-depth interviews with low-income Latino immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Interviews reveal that close-knit social networks buoyed by support from immigrant-serving organizations encourage cycling, providing social infrastructure where other types of infrastructure may be absent. However, neighborhood safety is a significant deterrent that men and women respond to in different ways. Other effects, such as gentrification, immigrant experiences, and cultural narratives, shape individuals’ perceptions of belonging as a cyclist in their neighborhood. Findings suggest that planners should collaborate with immigrant-serving community organizations and be more centrally involved in addressing neighborhood conditions and their effects on travel.

Keywords

Bicycling Immigrants Qualitative research Social justice Social environments 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was funded in part by the Mineta Transportation Institute (Grant No. 1202) and the University of California Center on Economic Competitiveness in Transportation. Dan Chatman and Asha Weinstein Agrawal provided guidance on development of the interview topic guide. Thanks to Darlene da Silva, Cecilia Chavez, Mar Velez, and Nestor Castillo for their research assistance, to Oscar Grande for his assistance coordinating interviews, and to all the interviewees for their valuable insights. This article is a significantly revised version of a paper presented at the 96th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board. I appreciate the comments from participants and reviewers of that paper. I also thank Ariel Bierbaum and the four anonymous reviewers of this paper for their invaluable feedback.

Author contributions

JM Barajas: conceived, researched, wrote, and edited the entire article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Aldred, R.: Who are Londoners on Bikes and what do they want? Negotiating identity and issue definition in a “pop-up” cycle campaign. J. Transp. Geogr. 30, 194–201 (2013a).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2013.01.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aldred, R.: Incompetent or too competent? Negotiating everyday cycling identities in a motor dominated society. Mobilities 8, 252–271 (2013b).  https://doi.org/10.1080/17450101.2012.696342 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aldred, R., Jungnickel, K.: Why culture matters for transport policy: the case of cycling in the UK. J. Transp. Geogr. 34, 78–87 (2014).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2013.11.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barajas, J.M., Chatman, D.G., Agrawal, A.W.: Exploring Bicycle and Public Transit Use by Low-Income Latino Immigrants: A Mixed-Methods Study in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mineta Transportation Institute, San José (2016)Google Scholar
  5. Bernstein, J.: No choice but to bike: undocumented and bike-dependent in rust belt America. In: Golub, A., Hoffman, M.L., Lugo, A.E., Sandoval, G.F. (eds.) Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation: Biking for All?. Routledge, New York (2016)Google Scholar
  6. Blumenberg, E.: Moving in and moving around: immigrants, travel behavior, and implications for transport policy. Transp. Lett. Int. J. Transp. Res. 1, 169–180 (2009).  https://doi.org/10.3328/TL.2009.01.02.169-180 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blumenberg, E., Agrawal, A.W.: Getting around when you’re just getting by: transportation survival strategies of the poor. J. Poverty 18, 355–378 (2014).  https://doi.org/10.1080/10875549.2014.951905 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blumenberg, E., Smart, M.: Getting by with a little help from my friends…and family: immigrants and carpooling. Transportation 37, 429–446 (2010).  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11116-010-9262-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blumenberg, E., Smart, M.: Brother can you spare a ride? Carpooling in immigrant neighbourhoods. Urban Stud. 51, 1871–1890 (2013).  https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098013502825 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Buehler, R., Dill, J.: Bikeway networks: a review of effects on cycling. Transp. Rev. 36, 9–27 (2016).  https://doi.org/10.1080/01441647.2015.1069908 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Buehler, R., Pucher, J.: Cycling to work in 90 large American cities: new evidence on the role of bike paths and lanes. Transportation 39, 409–432 (2012).  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11116-011-9355-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chatman, D.G., Klein, N.: Why do immigrants drive less? Confirmations, complications, and new hypotheses from a qualitative study in New Jersey, USA. Transp. Policy 30, 336–344 (2013).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2013.10.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chen, C., Lin, H., Loo, B.P.: Exploring the impacts of safety culture on immigrants’ vulnerability in non-motorized crashes: a cross-sectional study. J. Urban Health 89, 138–152 (2012).  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-011-9629-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Coleman, J.S.: Social capital in the creation of human capital. Am. J. Sociol. 94, S95–S120 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Corbin, J.M., Strauss, A.: Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks (2014)Google Scholar
  16. Dill, J., Carr, T.: Bicycle commuting and facilities in major U.S. cities: if you build them, commuters will use them. Transp. Res. Rec. J. Transp. Res. Board 1828, 116–123 (2003).  https://doi.org/10.3141/1828-14 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dill, J., McNeil, N.: Four types of cyclists? Examination of typology for better understanding of bicycling behavior and potential. Transp. Res. Rec. J. Transp. Res. Board 2387, 129–138 (2013).  https://doi.org/10.3141/2387-15 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Emond, C., Tang, W., Handy, S.: Explaining gender difference in bicycling behavior. Transp. Res. Rec. J. Transp. Res. Board 2125, 16–25 (2009).  https://doi.org/10.3141/2125-03 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Federal Highway Administration [FHWA]: National Household Travel Survey (2017)Google Scholar
  20. Furness, Z.: One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility. Temple University Press, Philadelphia (2010)Google Scholar
  21. Garrard, J., Handy, S., Dill, J.: Women and cycling. In: Pucher, J., Buehler, R. (eds.) City Cycling, pp. 211–232. The MIT Press, Cambridge (2012)Google Scholar
  22. Garrard, J., Rose, G., Lo, S.K.: Promoting transportation cycling for women: the role of bicycle infrastructure. Prev. Med. 46, 55–59 (2008).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.07.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Geller, R.: Four types of cyclists. https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/264746 (2009). Accessed 29 Dec 2017
  24. Golub, A., Hoffman, M.L., Lugo, A.E., Sandoval, G.F. (eds.): Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation: Biking for All?. Routledge, New York (2016)Google Scholar
  25. Goodman, J.D.: Bike Lanes’ growth in New York brings backlash. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/nyregion/23bicycle.html (2010). Accessed 29 Dec 2017
  26. Handy, S., Xing, Y.: Factors correlated with bicycle commuting: a study in six small U.S. cities. Int. J. Sustain. Transp. 5, 91–110 (2011).  https://doi.org/10.1080/15568310903514789 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Heinen, E., Handy, S.: Similarities in attitudes and norms and the effect on bicycle commuting: evidence from the bicycle cities Davis and Delft. Int. J. Sustain. Transp. 6, 257–281 (2012).  https://doi.org/10.1080/15568318.2011.593695 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hoffmann, M.L., Lugo, A.: Who is “world class”? Transportation justice and bicycle policy. Urbanities 4, 45–61 (2014)Google Scholar
  29. Knoblauch, R.L., Seifert, R.F., Murphy, N.B.: The Pedestrian and Bicyclist Highway Safety Problem as It Relates to the Hispanic Population in the United States. Federal Highway Administration, Washington (2004)Google Scholar
  30. Lee, D.J., Ho, H., Banks, M., Giamperi, M., Chen, X., Le, D.: Delivering (in)justice: food delivery cyclists in New York City. In: Golub, A., Hoffman, M.L., Lugo, A.E., Sandoval, G.F. (eds.) Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation: Biking for All?. Routledge, New York (2016)Google Scholar
  31. Loukaitou-Sideris, A.: A gendered view of mobility and transport: next steps and future directions. Town Plan. Rev. 87, 547–565 (2016).  https://doi.org/10.3828/tpr.2016.38 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lovejoy, K., Handy, S.: Social networks as a source of private-vehicle transportation: the practice of getting rides and borrowing vehicles among Mexican immigrants in California. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 45, 248–257 (2011).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2011.01.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lubitow, A., Miller, T.R.: Contesting sustainability: bikes, race, and politics in Portlandia. Environ. Justice 6, 121–126 (2013).  https://doi.org/10.1089/env.2013.0018 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lubitow, A., Zinschlag, B., Rochester, N.: Plans for pavement or for people? The politics of bike lanes on the “Paseo Boricua” in Chicago, Illinois. Urban Stud. 53, 2637–2653 (2016).  https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098015592823 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lugo, A.E.: CicLAvia and human infrastructure in Los Angeles: ethnographic experiments in equitable bike planning. J. Transp. Geogr. 30, 202–207 (2013).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2013.04.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Massey, D.S.: Why does immigration occur? A theoretical synthesis. In: Hirschman, C., Kasinitz, P., DeWind, J. (eds.) The Handbook of International Migration: The American Experience, pp. 34–52. Russel Sage Foundation, New York (1999)Google Scholar
  37. Messias, D.K.H., Barrington, C., Lacy, E.: Latino social network dynamics and the hurricane Katrina disaster. Disasters 36, 101–121 (2012).  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7717.2011.01243.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Moore-Monroy, M., Wilkinson-Lee, A., Lewandowski, D., Armenta, A.: No Hay Peor Lucha Que La Que No Se Hace: re-negotiating cycling in a Latino community. In: Golub, A., Hoffman, M.L., Lugo, A.E., Sandoval, G.F. (eds.) Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation: Biking for All?. Routledge, New York (2016)Google Scholar
  39. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Bicycle safety toolkit for hispanics. https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/bicycle-safety/bicycle-safety-toolkit-hispanics (2016). Accessed 29 Dec 2017
  40. Portes, A., Rumbaut, R.G.: Immigrant America: A Portrait. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles (2014)Google Scholar
  41. Pucher, J., Buehler, R., Merom, D., Bauman, A.: Walking and cycling in the United States 2001–2009: evidence from the national household travel surveys. Am. J. Public Health 101, S310–S317 (2011).  https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2010.300067 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rojas, J.: Latino urbanism in Los Angeles: a model for urban improvisation and reinvention. In: Hou, J. (ed.) Insurgent Public Space: Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary Cities, pp. 36–44. Routledge, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  43. Romero, M.: Racial profiling and immigration law enforcement: rounding up of usual suspects in the Latino community. Crit. Sociol. 32, 447–473 (2006).  https://doi.org/10.1163/156916306777835376 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ruggles, S., Genadek, K., Goeken, R., Grover, J., Sobek, M.: Integrated public use microdata series: version 6.0 [machine-readable database]. https://usa.ipums.org/usa/index.shtml (2015). Accessed 6 Apr 2016
  45. Sallis, J.F., Cervero, R.B., Ascher, W., Henderson, K.A., Kraft, M.K., Kerr, J.: An ecological approach to creating active living communities. Annu. Rev. Public Health 27, 297–322 (2006).  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.publhealth.27.021405.102100 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schneider, R.J.: Theory of routine mode choice decisions: an operational framework to increase sustainable transportation. Transp. Policy 25, 128–137 (2013).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2012.10.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Smart, M.: US Immigrants and bicycling: two-wheeled in Autopia. Transp. Policy 17, 153–159 (2010).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2010.01.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Smart, M.J.: A nationwide look at the immigrant neighborhood effect on travel mode choice. Transportation 42, 189–209 (2015).  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11116-014-9543-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Steinbach, R., Green, J., Datta, J., Edwards, P.: Cycling and the city: a case study of how gendered, ethnic and class identities can shape healthy transport choices. Soc. Sci. Med. 72, 1123–1130 (2011).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.01.033 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. The League of American Bicyclists, Sierra Club: The New Majority: Pedaling Towards Equity (2013)Google Scholar
  51. Urry, J.: The “system” of automobility. Theory Cult. Soc. 21, 25–39 (2004).  https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276404046059 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. van der Kloof, A.: Lessons learned through training immigrant women in the Netherlands to cycle. In: Cox, P. (ed.) Cycling Cultures, pp. 78–105. University of Chester, Chester (2015)Google Scholar
  53. Wilton, R.D., Páez, A., Scott, D.M.: Why do you care what other people think? A qualitative investigation of social influence and telecommuting. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 45, 269–282 (2011).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2011.01.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Xing, Y., Handy, S., Mokhtarian, P.L.: Factors associated with proportions and miles of bicycling for transportation and recreation in six small US cities. Transp. Res. Part D Transp. Environ. 15, 73–81 (2010).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trd.2009.09.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zuk, M., Chapple, K.: Urban displacement project. http://www.urbandisplacement.org/ (2015). Accessed 21 Dec 2017

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA

Personalised recommendations