Tag Archive: cycling infrastructure

  1. 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.

  2. Associations in Germany call for different laws and better infrastructure instead of ‘More Respect’

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    On World Bicycle Day on June 3rd, German associations Ecological Transport Club (VCD), the Association for Service and Bicycles (VSF) and Zukunft Fahrrad, the trade association for future bicycles, called for speedy reforms.

    Source: SAZ Bike

    On World Bicycle Day, German associations VCD, VSF, and Zukunft Fahrrad demanded more safety in road traffic, i.e. good infrastructure for bicycle and pedestrian traffic, modern road traffic laws, and the possibility of reducing the standard speed. The associations take a critical view of the new “More Attention” campaign launched by the Federal Ministry of Transport, and the German Road Safety Council. Although it promotes “good coexistence on roads and cycle paths”, it shifts the responsibility onto individuals.

    Among the demands are calls that the Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Volker Wissing, must overhaul the road traffic law and relinquish the bias towards the car. In addition, the legislature must reduce the speed limit to 30 km/h in built-up areas – this is also what 742 municipalities in the Alliance for Liveable Cities and Communities are demanding. The three associations want a safe infrastructure for everyone in traffic. This includes well-developed cycle paths and footpaths with safe crossings, and more consistent enforcement of the existing law.

    Reforms Instead of Posters

    Michael Müller-Görnert, traffic policy spokesman for the VCD, calls for rapid reforms instead of empty appeals: “Accidents are often caused by the high speed of cars. We don’t need a friendly recommendation to change that, but please drive carefully – we need a speed of 120km/h on the motorway, a speed of 80km/h on country roads and a speed of 30km/h in the city in hand to reduce the number of road deaths by changing the law. Instead, he just sticks with putting up posters.”

    The VSF managing director Uwe Wöll criticizes that #mehrAchtung (#MoreAttention) assigns the responsibility to all road users equally: “The campaign mentions the number of almost 2,800 dead and 300,000 injured a year. What is not mentioned, however, is that cars are involved in 75% of all accidents involving personal injury. This suggests, equality of means of transport, which in reality does not exist – those who walk or cycle are injured more often, but are much less likely to be responsible for serious accidents.”

    Elena Laidler-Zettelmeyer, Head of Strategic Cooperation for Zukunft Fahrrad: “Many people would like to cycle more. But they don’t because they don’t feel safe on the streets. A mindfulness campaign can only be a single component of a larger package of measures for more security. A real commitment to a fair distribution of space in favour of active mobility is needed. It remains the primary task of the politically responsible to ensure more safety through a better political framework so that everyone can participate in traffic on an equal footing.”

    VCD, VSF and Zukunft Fahrrad call on the Ministry of Transport to instate speed limits, and promote the expansion of safe cycle paths and footpaths. This would actually show people in traffic more respect.

  3. Forest in Aarhus, Denmark, implements ‘RopeLight’ infrastructure

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    Source: Fietsberaad

    RopeLight is a continuous LED light strip that lines the forest’s cycle path, installed as part of the BITS project to improve safety and offer a new cycling experience.

    In the Aarhus location, the installation of regular street lights would have been difficult, leading to a poorly-lit route. The newly installed RopeLight infrastructure guides the cyclist on the path through the forest in the dark hours.

    The LEDs’ color schemes can be altered according to the season or to highlight events and other initiatives. Creators of RopeLight hope that this will add a level of excitement when traveling the route. Additionally, the LEDs can be dimmed to ensure a light level that allows cyclists to benefit from the solution while not being overwhelmed by the light.

    BITS is a four-year project within the European Interreg, in which several countries work together to increase bicycle use and safety through ITS applications.

  4. Commuting upgrade: Brussels to Leuven cycling highway planned for 2025

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    Source: Mayor.eu, D. Balgaranov

    The new 16km highway (F29) will connect the two cities, providing a safer route for commuters to pursue more sustainable transportation options

    Recently announced by authorities in Belgium, a newly planned bicycle highway will connect the city of Leuven in Flanders to the country’s capital of Brussels. Many in the region already make the journey between the two cities as a part of their daily commute, thus, the project is likely to be positively received.

    The Flemish government aims to make the journey between the cities safer and faster, with construction starting next year and managed by The Werkvennootschap, a public works company. Additionally, the highway will link to the planned Brussels cycling ring, further connecting the wider city.

    Cycling Highways – a growing trend

    Bicycle highways have caught the attention of many governing bodies as of late, with projects announced across multiple regions. The infrastructure aims to handle the growing number of cycling commuters in a safe, efficient way. And, although most cities still do not have enough bike traffic to warrant the massive development, as Munich’s Deputy Mayor Katrin Habenschaden explained in a statement in May 2022: “If you sow cycling highways, you get cyclists.”

  5. 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.”

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