Tag Archive: Bike Lanes

  1. 2024 City Rating reveals cycling disparities across England

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    Source: BikeBiz

    The latest City Ratings, a data analysis tool assessing the bike-friendliness of global cities and towns, has been released. The new annual data reveals that while London leads in England, the country as a whole lags significantly behind other European nations.

    This information is concerning for cyclists and transport advocates, four years after the launch of Gear Change, the outgoing government’s flagship cycling initiative. Gear Change aimed for 50% of urban journeys to be made by walking or cycling by 2030, yet PeopleForBikes’ data highlights the continued lack of safe cycling infrastructure.

    The City Ratings, calculated annually since 2017 by the US advocacy group PeopleForBikes, evaluate cities’ bike network quality and connectivity, including protected bike lanes, bike paths, low speed limits, and safe crossings. This year, the data for England covers London, Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Yorkshire, Surrey, Cheshire, Oxford, Cambridge, and more.

    London leads the way

    London leads England in cycling amenities, with 16 of the 20 highest-rated boroughs. Cambridge holds the top spot with a score of 84 out of 100, followed by Hackney and Islington, both scoring 82. These areas have fewer “high stress” roads and feature low-speed limits (20 mph). On average, London scores 69, Greater Manchester 49, and the West Midlands 46.

    The aim of the data is to highlight the best cities and towns for cycling and provide city leaders and campaigners with actionable insights to improve cycling in their communities. This release coincides with political parties making transport commitments and outlining their visions for Active Travel.

    In London, the lowest-rated boroughs are Bromley (52), Harrow (51), and Barnet (50), illustrating the significant variation within the city.

    England continues to lag behind other European countries

    Compared to Europe, England lags behind, with the Netherlands dominating the top 10 with five cities: The Hague (89), Utrecht (86), Almere (85), Eindhoven (85), and Amsterdam (85). France, Belgium, and Germany also feature in the top 10. Paris ranks second overall with a score of 87. Internationally, three London boroughs rank among the top 20: Hackney (13th, 82), Islington (15th, 82), and Southwark (19th, 80).

    The West Midlands and Greater Manchester

    The West Midlands and Greater Manchester have shown significant commitments to cycling. Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham launched the Bee Network, integrating transport and cycling, though he faced criticism for rejecting a Clean Air Zone. Greater Manchester’s average rating of 49 lags behind London. The West Midlands, including Birmingham, aims to establish itself as the UK’s second city but falls behind Manchester in the 2024 ratings. Investments and progress under outgoing mayor Andy Street are noted, with campaigners urging similar ambition from the new Labour mayor Richard Parker.

    Amid a general election, campaigners and local authorities seek clarity on the incoming government’s approach to Active Travel. PeopleForBikes hopes this data will empower activists and stakeholders to advocate for safer cycling infrastructure and its benefits.

    Jenn Dice, PeopleForBikes’ president and CEO, stated, “The data for England clearly shows not only a divide between London and other cities but also between England and other European countries. We hope this data provides valuable insights for local authorities, campaigners, and everyone advocating for better cycling infrastructure.

    These ratings highlight the progress and ongoing challenges for UK cycling infrastructure. Cambridge’s top ranking and the strong performance of several London boroughs demonstrate what is possible with committed leadership and investment in safe, accessible cycling. Our goal with this data is to celebrate successes and provide actionable steps for city leaders and campaigners to improve cycling infrastructure in their communities. As political parties outline their transportation visions, they must prioritize active transportation to create healthier, more sustainable cities.

  2. Amsterdam grants temporary speed limit increase for cyclists

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    Source: Fietsberaad

    From April 18, fast cyclists in Amsterdam will have the opportunity to utilise a designated section of roadway spanning 500 meters for a duration of three months. This trial will occur along Eerste Constantijn Huijgensstraat and Bilderdijkstraat. The suggested speed limit on the cycle path remains at 20 kilometres per hour, while those desiring a quicker pace can opt for the lane.

    The trial stems from the winning entry of the Amsterdam Bike City Innovation Lab in 2022. Conceived by visual artist Wichert van Engelen, the idea proposes three distinct speed limits: 10 km/h for sidewalks, 20 km/h for cycle paths, and 30 km/h for roads, applicable to all modes of transportation. This initiative aims to mitigate different speeds on the cycle path.

    The municipal authorities, in collaboration with the Amsterdam Transport Region, selected the Eerste Constantijn Huijgensstraat and Bilderdijkstraat area for its high volume of bicycle traffic and the presence of a narrow cycle path segregated from the road. With overtaking proving challenging on this path due to increasing speed disparities, this choice becomes imperative.

    Melanie van der Horst, the traffic councillor, states “I hear more and more Amsterdam residents, young and old, who no longer dare to cycle in the city. I don’t want that to happen. We have previously successfully moved moped riders to the road, making the cycle path quieter. But due to the rapid rise of various electric bicycles, it is now more necessary to make room on the cycle path for people who drive slower.

    Until July 19, cyclists exceeding the 20 kilometres per hour threshold will have access to the road, where the maximum speed limit is set at 30 kilometres per hour. The designated test zone between Overtoom and Kinkerstraat will be clearly delineated. Throughout the trial period, the municipality will monitor cyclist behaviour on the road, assess the interaction between car and bicycle traffic, and evaluate the impact on cycle path congestion. Road users will have the opportunity to provide feedback through an online questionnaire, and the municipality will conduct on-site interviews with cyclists. The results are expected at the end of this year.

  3. Brabant fast cycle routes increase cycling rates

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    Source: fietsberaad Crow

    Nearly twenty percent of the users of three fast cycle routes in the Brabant region of the Netherlands previously traveled that route by car or public transport, and about 35 percent say they have started cycling more.

    The province conducted the research on the F58 between Tilburg and Rijen, the F261 between Tilburg and Waalwijk and the F73 between Cuijk and Nijmegen. The construction of the F73 proved to be particularly effective; 29 percent of cyclists on this route previously used the car or public transport. With a new bicycle bridge over the Maas, the bicycle route between Cuijk and Nijmegen has become much more direct and therefore a better alternative.
    Cyclists on the three routes were presented with a questionnaire both before the construction of the fast cycle routes and one year after their opening. More than six hundred cyclists completed this form.

    Seven fast cycle routes are in use in North Brabant and seven other routes are under construction. In addition, the province is preparing for the construction of a number of routes or investigating their feasibility.

    SmartwayZ Research

    A recent survey among the SmartwayZ.NL traveler panel shows that there is still a lot of potential for fast cycling routes in the Netherlands. Two-thirds of the panel members indicate that they would cycle to work more often if there were a fast cycle route in their neighborhood. A faster ride and better traffic flow are important reasons why the panel members would want to use a fast cycle route. In addition, they value comfort, directness and safety of the route. The research also shows that campaigns for the use of fast cycle routes can be more effective; only seven percent of the panel members say they have ever come across a promotional campaign for this.

  4. Bike lanes need adaptation to include micromobility, study finds

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    Source: Zag Daily, Y. Pinheiro

    The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has called for a redesign of urban bike lanes to accommodate a range of micromobility alternatives.

    NACTO’s new study titled “Designing for Small Things With Wheels” provides strategies to adjust bike infrastructure to accommodate variations in sizes and speeds of vehicles such as e-bikes, e-scooters, and cargo bikes. The paper suggests that current infrastructure designs have traditionally favoured confident riders (typically adult men), leaving other potential users (including children, seniors, women, people with disabilities, and those transporting goods) out of the equation. The study states that bike lanes are the safest and most comfortable place for people using a wide array of, often electrified, small things with wheels, as they are vulnerable to car traffic.

    The adaptation of bike infrastructure would require extra width to accommodate larger vehicles and allow comfortable passing, as well as the creation of dedicated space at intersections. According to the paper, wider-protected bike lanes are especially important to protect children and caregivers, side-by-side riders, people using adaptive devices, and people moving goods from close passing.

    The study also suggests that providing smooth surfaces for devices with small wheels and using obvious signs and markings are helpful to clarify that newly popular device types – like e-bikes and e-scooters – are welcome.

    “When bikeways are designed for all ages, abilities, and micromobility options, people on bikes and scooters will prefer to ride in the well-designed bikeways instead of competing for space on a sidewalk,” the paper states.

    The study provides suggestions that would make bike lanes more inclusive of all potential riders and suggests that this, in turn, will allow cities to reduce congestion and improve air quality while increasing access to jobs, services, and opportunities.

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