The built environment also had a big effect, with population density having the highest impact on bike mode share. “We hypothesized that land use would impact it,” Willis told me, “that parks and residential areas would end up with people being more satisfied.” But those factors weren’t nearly as significant as population density. Cyclists like an interesting ride, Willis told me, with lots of people around and lots of activity. She said the traffic congestion often associated with high population density didn’t seem to drag down the satisfaction level.
Another surprise is that hillier commutes were more satisfying.
“It’s not intuitive and it’s something we have not entirely explained,” Willis said. “My personal hypothesis is that because cyclists are cycling a lot of the time for exercise and health, the slope is not an inhibitor to them.”Tanya Snider, DC Streets Blog dot org