Human Powered Vehicle; Government Supported Cycling Infrastructure's Effects on Public Health

Poon, Dana, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Smith, Natasha, EN-Mech/Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Foley, Rider, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Government supported cycling infrastructure directly impacts public health. Public health is a rising concern with a decrease in air quality and a rise in obesity. A system of government supported cycling infrastructure creates opportunity for alternative modes of transportation such as cycling and walking provide a way to decrease these concerns. With more access to a cycling infrastructure (bike lanes, bike racks, etc.), it would reduce the amount of emissions while providing a form of exercise to fight obesity. The way that people view cycling is very important to the correlation of the existence of cycling infrastructure. This form of social determinism is a key factor in pushing legislature to fund and recommend cycling infrastructure projects. Although this social push is needed, often governments need to consider the future sustainability of these endeavors. Costs of upkeep, development, and the room to grow are very important in considering how sustainable these systems are. If the system ends up hurting the economy and environment more than the existing infrastructure, the new system becomes redundant. I plan to use interviews and case studies to research the impact of government supported systems on cyclist numbers. I believe there will be a positive correlation between places with better public health and large government supported cycling infrastructures.
Government supported cycling infrastructure when related to public health could show the power a government has to influence the thoughts and wellbeing of its citizens.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Bicycle, Cycling Infrastructure, Social Determinism , Government supported Cycling Infrastructure, Public Health, Cycling, Obesity

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Technical Advisor: Natasha Smith

STS Advisor: Rider Foley

Technical Team Members: Sungwoo Cho, Samantha Davis, Matthew Evanko, Yongyi Jiang, Nick Johnson, Thomas Lee, Brian Lembo, Kevin Meyers, Ian O’Donnell, Geoffrey Shellady, Christopher Wilks, Pat Wongwiset

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