Tag Archive: cycle paths

  1. Speed pedelec trial on high speed cycle route in Germany 

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    The Hessian Ministry (for transport, energy, economic affairs, transport, housing and rural areas) and Darmstadt Regional council will begin a traffic trial on the Frankfurt-Darmstadt rapid cycle link from mid-May, initially for one year.

    Source: Wirtschaft.hessen

    The trial period will permit speed pedelecs to use the section between Langen and Darmstadt-Nord. Also known as S-pedelecs, speed pedelecs have a similar appearance to conventional pedelecs but have a higher speed limit of 45km/h, so are categorised as “mopeds” that aren’t normally allowed to ride on cycle paths.

    Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences will help with analysing the traffic trial, which has the objective of investigating if high-speed cycling routes could be suitable for S-pedelec use. The university will record road safety levels on the cycle link with speed observations, on-site surveys and interviews.

    The traffic test aims to investigate the speeds of various user groups, and analyse the effects of speed pedelecs being used on the high-speed cycling route. Cycling path users are advised to look out for signs to confirm the areas where speed pedelecs are permitted to be used.

    The first set of results from the traffic trial is expected for spring 2025.

    Transport Minister Mansoori explains the reasoning behind the trial: “Carrying out traffic trials is crucial to test all possible ways to accelerate the transport transition. I am pleased that we are now going into implementation here together with the Darmstadt Regional Council and I am curious to see what results we can draw from this.”


    Some argue that S-pedelecs are only able to reach a top speed of 45 km/h for a short time under maximum effort, so associate them as having a similar average speed to racing bikes. At the same time, the speed pedelec is seen as a great replacement for the car, especially for longer everyday journeys.

    However under the context of road safety, the suitability of speed pedelecs on cycle paths has been questioned due to the large speed difference between S-pedelec users and slow cyclists. Due to their capability to reach high travel speeds of up to 45km/h with assistance, federal legislators usually categorise them as being similar to motorcycles, making it illegal for them to be generally used in cycling paths.

    The Hessian ministry and Darmstadt regional council have reserved the right to end the traffic trial earlier within the year, in case of any road safety issues.

  2. France’s 2023-2027 Cycling and Walking Plan is Launched

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    The first “Cycling and walking” interministerial committee was held on May 5, 2023, by French Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, to establish a real cycling culture.

    Source: French Government

    In the pursuit of ensuring all citizens have an eco-friendly transportation option, France recognises the importance of incorporating cycling and walking. The enthusiasm for this is evident, with a notable surge of 52% in the use of bicycle routes since 2017.

    The “Cycling and Walking Plan 2023-2027” sees the State investing 2 billion euros. “We will work with local authorities and hope that, alongside them, we will be able to invest 6 billion euros over the period,” said Élisabeth Borne.

    The plan targets three lines of action to make cycling and walking integral to the lifestyles of all French people:

    • Encouraging cycling from an early age.
    • Promote cycling as an alternative to conventional modes of transport.
    • Develop an economic and industrial cycle sector.

    1. Make cycling accessible to everyone, from an early age

    Objective: 850,000 children to be taught to ride a bicycle each year.

    Since 2019, 200,000 children have been trained by the “Know How to Ride a Bike” program.

    2. Make cycling and walking an alternative to private cars and public transport

    Objective: reach 80,000 km in 2027, and 100,000 km in 2030, of secure cycling facilities, including cycle lanes.

    250 million euros will be dedicated each year to accelerating the development of cycling facilities in France.

    By the end of 2022, 57,000 km of secure cycle facilities will be deployed across the country.

    3. Make cycling an economic lever by supporting French players in the sector

    Objective: the assembly of 1.4 million bicycles in France by 2027, and 2 million in 2030. To facilitate this, a call for projects will be launched in 2030.

    This new plan aims to promote innovation and structure a complete economic sector around the bicycle, from assembly to recycling.

  3. New German portal showcases the subjective safety of bicycle paths

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    Source: Fietsberaad

    The web-portal highlights what infrastructure should look like if it is to be experienced as ‘safe’ by the rider. The portal will act as a point of reference for future developments.

    The new portal allows the comparison of 1,700 cycling scenarios and infrastructure solutions. Data is based on an online survey of approximately 22,000 participants and 400,000 reviews.

    A cycle path that is experienced as safe by a rider increases the chance of use, and so the goal of the portal is to ensure paths feel safe; safe development will convince more individuals to consider cycling. Of course, the perception of safety is subjective, hence the study method.

    The cycle path check aims to visualize this subjective aspect. In the online database, 1,779 different embodiments for bicycle infrastructure have been identified with filter options to choose from. These include, for example, marking, presence of parking, separate bicycle paths, whether car-free, etc.

    The German Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Traffic funded the website, which was developed by FixMyCity as part of the national bicycle traffic plan. Visit the new portal here.

    An example cycling scenario, rated highly ‘safe’ by cyclists (Source: https://radwege-check.de/)
  4. Phone game used to help manage Swedish cycle path maintenance

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    Source: TheMayor.eu

    Residents of the Swedish town of Enköping are being encouraged to contribute to the maintenance of the local cycle-path infrastructure, in a novel way – by playing a mobile game. Anyone with a mobile phone, a bike and handlebar-mounted phone holder can download a free and simple-to-use app, and by playing help to provide important information to the municipality’s traffic planning department.

    To develop the scheme, Enköping’s authorities teamed up with Crowdsorsa, a Finnish startup software company, who developed a smartphone game where virtual fruits and berries, which are worth actual money, can be collected by filming the cycling paths. Enköping has 110km of cycling paths for players to map, with each kilometre featuring collectable objects worth approximately SEK 20 (about 1.88 euros).

    The data collected is analysed by an AI model to identify damage to the cycle path, and then will be used to plan maintenance of the network.

    Explaining how the game works, Crowdsorsa CEO Toni Paju said: “The first user to collect an item is rewarded for it, then it disappears from everyone’s maps in real time. This makes the survey well-organized and shows users where data has not yet been collected.”

    Maurizio Freddo, traffic planner at Enköping municipality, noted the benefits both for the town’s authorities and local residents: “The project is important for us as we can finally get a good basis to see in a methodical way how we should maintain our walking and cycling paths. It gives us a better idea of ​​what we should prioritize. We also believe that this will be a good way to engage citizens in Enköping municipality to get out and experience our walking and cycling paths.”

  5. Dutch Government introduces speed cameras on bicycle paths – Van Raam

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    Before the end of 2022, the Dutch government will install speed cameras on bicycle paths. This is to reduce the speed on the bicycle paths. LEVA-EU member Van Raam has a solution with which you no longer have to worry about your speed and possible traffic fines. Read more about this innovative and unique solution here that you can try out on the Van Raam bike test track from the first Friday of the second quarter.
    A Van Raam cyclist on the Easy Sport tricycle tests the invention on the test track at Van Raam

    Reduce speed on bicycle paths
    It is getting busier on the bike paths. More people have electric bicycles and accidents often happen because people cycle too fast. The government, therefore, wants to reduce speed on bicycle paths by installing speed cameras before the end of the year; there will be various bicycle zones where a maximum of 10, 15 or 25 km/h may be cycled. Do you have a (Van Raam) bicycle? Then you will soon have to be careful that you are not caught out and fined.

    Watch Van Raam’s speed-limiting invention as a solution for the speed cameras on bicycle paths in this YouTube video.

    Speed-limiting invention via app
    Van Raam has an innovative solution for your electric Van Raam bicycle that will help you with this. Thanks to this speed-limiting invention, you will be informed via the Van Raam E-Bike App about the permitted speed and possible speed cameras in advance, your bike will automatically adjust to the maximum permitted speed.

    We can have the bicycle react in such a way that it takes over the maximum speed of the area in which it is cycling at that moment.” – Maikel Fraikin (Information Manager)

    How exactly does it work?
    The current Van Raam Smart E-Bike App can communicate with your bicycle. Thanks to push notifications, you know, for example, when you need to charge your battery. The newly developed feature will inform you via the app about the permitted speed and possible speed cameras. In addition, Van Raam can adjust the speed of your bicycle as soon as you enter a speed camera zone. Thanks to Van Raam’s smart technology, your bicycle automatically takes over the maximum speed of the area where you are currently cycling.

    • Riders will be informed about the allowed speed
    • Riders will be informed about bicycle speed cameras
    • Van Raam bikes comply with the speed limit

    Test phase at Van Raam bicycle test track
    Van Raam are now working on the first trials. These tests take place on the test track at the company’s bicycle factory in Varsseveld. A flash installation has been set up to be able to test representatively. The first results are looking good and Van Raam hopes to launch the updated app this summer.

    I don’t have to worry about speeding and associated fines. That’s what everyone wants, right?” – a satisfied Van Raam cyclist

    Try it yourself?
    Want to try out this speed-limiting invention for yourself? This is possible during a free test drive at Van Raam! During a test ride, one of our technical advisors will tell you everything about our special needs bicycles and associated options. You then test the bike on the test track and make sure that you are not being flashed with the help of the E-Bike App. A test drive is possible by appointment and can be scheduled yourself via www.vanraam.com.

    Maikel Fraikin (Information Manager) talks about the speed-limiting invention
  6. VerkeersNet interview: growing crowds on cycle paths

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    Traffic jams on cycle paths are no longer an uncommon phenomenon in large cities and on busy routes. In addition, it is also getting busier due to the arrival of innovative vehicles, with different speeds. Is there a risk that the bicycle will becom a victim of its own success? What is the solution?

    Those were the issues LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck, and Wim Bot, policy advisor at the Dutch Cyclists Federation were interviewed on by VerkeersNet, a trade magazine for mobility professionals. The 45 minute live interview in Dutch is below.

    Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

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