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                                                                                                    Closing bicycle gap

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                                                                                                    November, 12 2017




When I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer
despair for the future of the human race. – HG



Above is our
simple traffic planning guide for liveable cities. Make cycling, walking and
public transport the fastest way from A to B and make driving a pain in the ass
and you have basically the most effective way to change the mobility paradigm
for the better.

It’s that
simple. All the campaigns for “ride a bike – it’s good for you/it’s
green/it’s healthy”
are a complete waste of money if you don’t follow the guide. This presupposes
protected infrastructure for cycling, of course.











THE 14


•   Advocacy:

How is the city’s
(or region/country) advocacy NGO(s) regarded and what level of influence does
it have?

Rated from no
organised advocacy to strong advocacy with political influence.


•   Bicycle Culture:

Has the bicycle
reestablished itself as transport among regular citizens or only sub-cultures?

Rated from no
bicycles on the urban landscape/only sporty cyclists to mainstream acceptance
of the bicycle.


•   Bicycle Facilities:

Are there readily
accessible bike racks, ramps on stairs, space allocated on trains and buses and
well-designed way finding, etc?

Rated from no
bicycle facilities available to widespread and innovative facilities.


•   Bicycle Infrastructure:

How does the city’s
bicycle infrastructure rate?

Rated from no
infrastructure/cyclists relegated to using car lanes to high level of safe,
separated cycle tracks.


•   Bike Share Programme:

Does the city have
a comprehensive and well-used bike-sharing programme?

Rated from no bike
share programme to comprehensive, high-usage programme.


•   Gender

What percentage of
the city’s cyclists are male and female?

Rated from overwhelming
male to an even gender split or more women than men cycling.


•   Modal Share For Bicycles:

What percentage of
modal share is made up by cyclists?

Rated from under 1%
to over 25%.


•   Modal Share Increase Since 2006:

What has the
increase in modal share been since 2006 – the year that urban cycling started
to kick off?

Rated from under 1%
to 5%+.


•   Perception of Safety:

Is the perception
of safety of the cyclists in the city, reflected in helmet-wearing rates,
positive or are cyclists riding scared due to helmet promotion and scare

Rated from
mandatory helmet laws with constant promotion of helmets to low helmet-usage



•   Politics:

What is the
political climate regarding urban cycling?

Rated from the
bicycle being non-existent on a political level to active and passionate
political involvement.


•   Social Acceptance:

How do drivers and
the community at large regard urban cyclists?

Rated from no
social acceptance to widespread social acceptance.


•   Urban Planning:

How much emphasis
do the city’s planners place on bicycle infrastructure – and are they
well-informed about international best practice?

Rated from
car-centric urban planners to planners who think bicycle – and pedestrian –


•   Traffic Calming:

What efforts have
been made to lower speed limits – for example 30 km/h zones – and generally
calm traffic in order to provide greater safety to pedestrians and cyclists?

Rated from none at
all to extensive traffic-calming measures prioritising cyclists and pedestrians
in the traffic hierarchy.


•   Cargo Bikes and Logistics:

Is the city
embracing the potential of cargo bikes – both for private citizens and

Rated from no focus
on cargo bikes to a strong cargo bike and logistics culture.



Other opportunities:


Hamburg – received
bonus points for traffic calming with its plans to make the center car-free in
the coming years, which helped it stay on the list of 20 most bike-friendly


Utrecht – ongoing plans to build 33,000 bike parking spots at the Central
Station by 2020 is another. The current 12,000 spots wasn’t enough, apparently.

“Bicycle streets” are standard in many Dutch
cities, but Utrecht boasts the longest in the country—3.7 miles—with plans for
more. It have created a pop-up parking concept for bikes and they installed the
a speed detection system coupled with digital kiosks that read each cyclist’s
speed and help them speed up or slow down in order to catch the next light.


Malmö – is looking
to upgrade its bike sharing and infrastructure, distributes cargo bikes from
its central train station, and is piloting garbage collection on two wheels.
The new bicycle ferry between Malmö and Copenhagen will strengthen bicycle
tourism in the region. Malmö may be the little sibling to the other cities
around it, but it seems to shrug and get on with it.


Japan is the world’s third great cycling nation,
and Tokyo its crown jewel. The modal share can easily hit 30 percent in
many neighbourhoods. Parking facilities for bikes are everywhere and impressive
parking cellars with all the trimmings are located near train stations. The
2020 Olympics will be a prime opportunity for Tokyo to finally recognize
cycling as transport. Where London and Rio failed to use cycling as a way of
moving a lot of people around during their games, Japan has the opportunity to
do so—and to cement cycling for transport for future generations.


Berlin – is experimenting with traffic-free
streets and testing “green
waves” for cyclists. Activists who promoted a cycling
referendum, putting bikes on the city’s agenda with a bang. With a new
coalition in power and focused on sustainable transport, Berlin’s political and
community engagement climate is in a perfect sweet spot.

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