Darmstadt University is conducting an online survey on the use of cargobikes. The goal is to formulate recommendations for cargo bike infrastructure. Prof. Axel Wolfermann in an interview with cargobike.jetzt.
Interview originally published in German in cargobike.jetzt: https://www.cargobike.jetzt/infrastruktur-umfrage-hochschule-darmstadt/
High curbs, narrow bike lanes and various road blocking obstacles cause specific problems for cargobikes. Through the survey on usage, mobility and route choice behavior with the cargo bike we went to establish how exactly cargobike-friendly infrastructure should look like. The online survey is aimed primarily – but not only – at private cargobike users. Please do take part!
Luise Braun (TU Berlin) and Gregor Gaffga (TU Dresden) have already carried out scientific research into infrastructure requirements for cargobikes and tricycles. However, now with the survey, cargobike infrastructure is being researched for the first time on behalf of the federal state, in the project ” Design recommendation for cargo bike infrastructure” at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. Project leader Prof. Axel Wolfermann from the Institute of Civil Engineering of the University of Darmstadt explains the project:
How did your current research project “Design recommendation for the wheel infrastructure of cargo bikes” come about ?
Axel Wolfermann: In Darmstadt, private cargo bikes are already omnipresent even in winter. The discussion about city logistics with cargo bikes has also reached Darmstadt politics. On the other hand, the existing bicycle infrastructure is insufficient and especially cargobikes are still a rather blank spot on the regulations working programme, which is used for planning cycling infrastructure. For this reason, we at the University of Darmstadt applied for research subsidies within the framework of the Hessian short-distance mobility strategy in 2018 and were granted the project “Design Recommendation for cargo bike infrastructure”.
Why is your survey mainly aimed at private users of cargo bikes?
Axel Wolfermann: There are already various research projects on cargobikes in commercial transport. So far, less research has been done on private use, although that segment also has great potential. In addition, we wanted to focus on one segment, in order to obtain insights into the most important infrastructure barriers for the use of cargobike as soon as possible. The user survey is a central component of the project, but not the only one. We also sift through the existing regulations for buildings, parking lots and other fundamentel elements for traffic planning. We also compile the geometries of cargo bikes, evaluate video observations and invite people to expert workshops.
What effect do you expect from the results of the research project?
Axel Wolfermann: Theprimary aim is to develop recommendations for the Hessian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy, Transport and Housing. Demonstration projects are not part of this project. However, it is clear that the project should not be an academic exercise for us, nor for the Ministry I assume. It would be great if the research project flows results into a pilot project with a community for the development of cargobike-friendly infrastructure! And the stronger the participation in our user survey, the better we can argue for the need for a model project for adequate cargobike infrastructure. This year is also a good time to add our findings to the discussion about the new edition of the Cycling Facilities Recommendations (ERA) .