A Scoping Review of Bikeability Assessment Methods

Debra K. Kellstedt, John O. Spengler, Margaret Foster, Chanam Lee, Jay E. Maddock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Bicycling holds promise as a healthy and sustainable means of transportation and physical activity. Despite the growing interest in community-based environmental approaches to promoting physical activity, bikeability has received relatively little attention. This paper provides a scoping review of the instruments developed to measure bikeability along with practice-based analyses of the tools related to user expertise, estimated cost, and required time to implement. The review summarizes the literature, identifies research gaps, and informs stakeholders with articles from EBSCO and transportation databases published after 2003 when the previous bikeability instrument review paper was published. Data extraction included the tool name, data collection method, study location, data collection scale, type of measure, and description. Two reviewers independently reviewed articles included in the full text review, and the inter-rater agreement exceeded 90%. The database search yielded 388 unique articles, and 17 met the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Most of the studies, 11 of 17, were applied to settings outside of the U.S. Five studies employed a self-report survey, and five studies examined bikeability using geospatial data, like GIS. Seven studies used a direct observation audit tool—one specifically using a mobile app and another using virtual observation techniques with Google Street View. Bikeability tools are useful for assessing communities and their supports for bicycling. Our primary finding is that advances in technology over the past two decades have driven innovative and useful methodologies, in a variety of disciplines, for assessing the environment, but more consensus is needed to provide a universal definition of bikeability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-224
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Bikeability
  • Environmental assessment tools
  • Physical activity
  • Scoping review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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