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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Does Wind Discourage Sustainable Transportation Mode Choice? Findings from San Francisco, California, USA

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This paper explores whether and to what extent wind discourages sustainable transportation mode choice, which includes riding public transportation, bicycling, and walking. A six month-long field study was carried out at four locations in San Francisco, a city that has been promoting sustainable transportation mode choice but that experiences high wind levels. It involved surveying pedestrians and on-site recording of microclimate data using various instruments. The survey adopted a mixed-method approach to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. Statistical analyses using Kruskal Wallis tests and ordinal logistic regression models identified the significant effect of wind speed on San Francisco’s residents in estimating their discouragement for waiting at transit stop without shelter, bicycling, and walking. Qualitative data revealed a deeper understanding of how wind influences their sustainable transportation mode choice. This research argues for the need to adopt climate-based efforts in urban planning and policy and sheds light on the climate resilience of cities

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