Identifying Alternative Cycling Routes in the City of Guelph Using GIS-Based MCE and Network Analysis Models
Cycling is a growing form of sustainable transport and can provide an alternative to vehicular commuting. Research suggests that a commuting cyclist's route choice is affected by a variety of factors, including slope length, traffic volume, cycling infrastructure, and winter maintenance. This project identifies these as the four main factors that influence cyclist route choice in the City of Guelph. Using GIS-based MCE and Network Analyst models, this project aims to determine the optimal alternative routes between eight important city hubs throughout the City of Guelph, based on maximizing the suitability of each route. A GIS-based MCE model is used to assign a barrier score to each segment of Guelph's cycling network, by combining the factor scores for each segment based on weightings derived from a pairwise comparison. A GIS-based Network Analyst model is created from the route network, and is used to determine alternative cycling routes based on barrier scores. Five scenarios were created using network analyst, which are discussed in detail in Research Approach: Objective 4. The results of this analysis provide mapped routes that avoid undesirable stretches of Guelph's cycling network, providing a plan for a suitable commute via bicycle. It was found that for the majority of the route options, there was not a large increase in percent distance added between the base barrier scores and the arterial roads restricted once and twice. This enables the cyclyst to choose a route that best suits their comfort levels with minimal implications. Limitations of the current analysis include: assumptions and inconsistencies in slope calculation, subjectivity in pairwise comparison, and winter maintenance.