on transport mode tribalism

Just banking a quote for future reference on the idea that we are "cyclists" or "motorists" or "pedestrians" — groups competing with one another. It's from the Understanding Walking and Cycling report, of course, and still a source of upset for a certain group of old fashioned campaigners who hate the implication that it's not all about them.

  • Cycling sanctifiers (17% of the variance) ??? this discourse reveals a strong moral pro cycling stance. Cycling is regarded as providing ultimate freedom and more convenient access across the city (even than by car). People who subscribe to this discourse are confident cycling in traffic and are reluctant to see the implementation of segregated cycle infrastructure if this leads to the erosion of cyclists??? right to use the road.
  • Pedestrian prioritizers (16% of the variance) ??? this discourse reflects the very positive and ???normal??? image of walking as a means of travel to get from place to place and because of the desire to see more priority given to people moving on foot in cities. People who subscribe to this discourse are not car averse ??? they own and drive cars themselves ??? but wish to see more restrictions placed on the use (and cultural symbolism) of cars in urban areas. There is also the desire for segregated cycle paths which are perceived to benefit people travelling on foot (reduced danger/conflict because of pavement cycling) and cyclists (reduced danger/conflict because of motor traffic).
  • Automobile adherents (9% of the variance) ??? this discourse is most satisfied with the present car system and is underpinned by the belief that people have a choice of how to travel around and it is up to them to exercise it. Walking is regarded as a leisure activity and cycling practiced by enthusiasts or by committed environmentalist. People who subscribe to this discourse are against any measures that infringe their liberty to drive such as traffic calming even if this could improve conditions for walking and cycling. Indeed, this discourse suggests that walkers and cyclists should take more responsibility for their own safety when moving around the city.

While the data may be making the obvious statement that some people are committed cyclists, some prefer walking and some are wedded to the car, perhaps the more interesting implication is that 58% of the total variance is not explained by these ???mobility identities???. We argue that it is this large unexplained variance on which we need to focus in order to understand the factors that influence the travel decisions of people who are not currently committed to a particular form of travel, and who thus may be more open to changing their travel behaviour than those with a strong mobility identity.

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