Tag Archive: infrastructure

  1. P. Vileišio Street becomes the first “bicycle street” in Lithuania

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    Source: Made in Vilnus

    In the Antakalnis district, the newly reconstructed P. Vileišio Street has become the spot in Lithuania where cyclists have equal status with cars, dubbed as a “bicycle street“. The street features a bicycle street road sign and a comprehensive infrastructure designed specifically for cyclists, meeting all necessary requirements.

    Dviračių gatvė is a new traffic regulation format in Lithuania, introduced in 2022. While Vilnius previously had bicycle streets, they lacked the complete infrastructure typical of such streets. The full implementation of a bicycle street has now been completed on P. Vileišio Street.

    Jonas Simutis, a JUDU expert, describes the street’s unique infrastructure: “On both sides of the roadway, there are 2-meter-wide red asphalt lanes for cyclists. In the center, a strip of cobblestones alerts drivers with vibrations when they drive at higher speeds.

    The decision to reconstruct P. Vileišio Street into a bicycle street was made because it is a crucial route for cyclists, while its previous infrastructure was very cyclist-unfriendly. Although it was supposed to be a quiet street, it was heavily used for passenger and goods transport. The new street format and its regulations aim to reduce car traffic and enhance safety and convenience for cyclists.

    Traffic Management on Bicycle Streets

    The key change on a bicycle street is that cars share the road with cyclists. Cars can still move in both directions on P. Vileišio Street, but drivers are prohibited from overtaking cyclists by crossing into the opposite lane.

    All road users must adhere to a 30 km/h speed limit on bicycle streets. Cyclists can ride freely, not only in a line or close to the right edge. Parking is prohibited on bicycle streets, except in designated areas.

    Unlike cyclists, motorists must drive as close to the right-hand edge of the carriageway as possible, similar to normal streets. On P. Vileišio Street, this means driving in a circular pattern on the red asphalt lanes and avoiding the central cobblestone strip.

    Promoting Cycling Mobility in Lithuanian Cities

    The first bicycle street in Lithuania, though not fully developed, was MK Čiurlionios Street in Vilnius. Bicycle street traffic management is also implemented on Krakuva and Z. Sierakauska streets in Vilnius, as well as in Palanga, Kretinga, and Klaipeda.

    “P. Vileišio bicycle street marks an important step and a new beginning in developing Vilnius’s bicycle network. As the number of cyclists rapidly increases, more streets will be reconstructed similarly, filling the gaps in the bicycle network. Where it is impractical or unnecessary to build a dedicated bicycle path, bicycle streets will ensure a safe, comfortable, and inviting infrastructure for cyclists,” says a JUDU representative, outlining future plans.

  2. 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.

  3. Culture war against bikes trending in Europe

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    POLITICO reports on the rising conservative backlash against cycling and cyclists

    Source: POLITICO

    In a noteworthy development across Europe, the battle over city car restrictions has escalating into a culture war, with politicians positioning themselves as champions of working-class drivers. Berlin’s newly elected conservative city government has taken a particularly aggressive stance, reversing numerous bike-friendly measures implemented by its predecessor. This includes suspending bike infrastructure projects that impede existing car lanes or parking spaces, and shelving plans to expand the city’s cycling network. The decision to allow cars back on the iconic Friedrichstraße boulevard, reversing its pedestrianization, was motivated by complaints from local businesses regarding declining revenue.

    The pandemic-inspired temporary cycling infrastructure and traffic restrictions that were initially well-received have lost favor as life returns to normal. Developments in Berlin serve as a concerning precedent for other bike-friendly cities experiencing a perhaps artificially inflated backlash from disgruntled car drivers.

    Berlin’s new mobility chief, Manja Schreiner, argued that its measures reflected the concerns of many Berliners, while critics view them as an unnecessary and damaging rollback of cycling infrastructure. Similar anti-bike and pro-car sentiments are growing in other regions, including the UK, where the Conservative Party has framed the country as ‘a nation of drivers’ and suggested new policies or rollbacks in response to expanded low-emission zones and other policies.

    Conspiracy theories and resistance to the “15-minute city” concept, which promotes local living and alternative transportation methods, have also contributed to the backlash. In Brussels, a plan to reduce car traffic has sparked protests and led to the cancellation of some initiatives. Right-wing parties are capitalizing on these emotional issues but offer no alternative vision for cities, while proponents argue that cycling infrastructure and green spaces enhance urban environments.

    The opposition to bike-friendly policies in Berlin and other cities reflects the challenge of balancing the interests of different road users and finding solutions that accommodate everyone.

    Read more detail over on POLITICO.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. FEMA highlights dangers of cable barriers

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    Source: FEMA

    One road element present in some countries increases the hazard risk for motorcyclists: cable barriers.

    While banned in some countries, others continue to install cable barriers, otherwise known as wire rope fences. The overriding danger of the installations are the uprights that will catch hold of the motorcyclist in the result of a fall. If the rider is still on the motorcycle when it collides with the barrier, he or she will be led towards the uprights with unfavourable consequences. Compare this to a standard guardrail, designed without protruding parts.

    Those in favour of cable barriers consider them to be beneficial when roads have limited room along the sides and central reservation for other barrier types. FEMA rejects this opinion, arguing that an attempt to better an adverse road design should not consist of elements that can cause harm to a specific group of road users.

    Sweden has long been an advocate of cable barrier installations, but with the high replacement and repair costs that are incurred upon damage, they are beginning to reject their use. Damaged parts are not quick to replace, emergency vehicles are unwillingly kept at bay and none of the designs offer safety to motorcyclists.

    FEMA is responsive to the debates on cable barriers and encourage all those participating to channel their time into researching new and improved infrastructure that offers security and safety to motorcyclists. Objectives such as installing road restraint systems of any type only where there is a risk of collision should be considered, alongside extensive research into collisions of powered two-wheelers (PTWs). New barrier technology and logistics can be introduced to set new standards upon completion of such research, while existing barriers can be retrofitted with Motorcycle Protection Systems (MPS), all of which will pave the way for a safer motorcycling experience.

  8. Amsterdam unveils new universal bike rack

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    Source: themayor.eu, Aseniya Dimitrova

    The new design commissioned by the city aims to facilitate many types of bikes, improving on current flawed designs

    A newly designed bike rack has appeared in Amsterdam, on Haarlemmerplein. The model was designed by the city itself in response to more conventional bike racks failing to cater to the varying bike sizes and varieties utilized across Amsterdam. Allegedly, the “ultimate bike rack” can do it all.

    The new installation is a product of extensive research conducted with residents, in which they expressed which existing facilities were suitable for parking and storing their vehicles, and which were not. Tests were run throughout the West borough, where varying racks were placed and feedback provided; this informed the new ‘ultimate’ design.

    “According to the city website, the new model features more space between the bicycles which is good for models with a crate or wide handlebars. Furthermore, the rack also takes into account the increasing number of heavy e-bikes driving in the city. In addition, the rack is low enough, so one does not need to lift their bike to secure it.

    The rack also fits children’s bicycles and bicycles with thicker tires up to 7 centimeters. It stores more bicycles in a smaller space and it also looks neater. In addition, the ground under the rack is easier to wipe clean, authorities claim. And finally, the rack is produced in a sustainable and circular way.” – A. Dimitrova

    The new design will complement existing models rather than replace them. Following further feedback, the rack will be rolled out on a larger scale in busy areas, during refurbishment projects, in locations undergoing major maintenance, and in places where outdated racks must be replaced.

  9. icct considers potential of charging methods and incentives to catalyse electric two-wheeler market

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    Following on from an article about state government incentives in India are making many electric two-wheeler models near equivalent in price to gasoline models, a new piece by The International Council on Clean Transportation (icct) looks in detail at Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and charging infrastructure incentives.

    Two-wheelers are a mass market in India, and lower upfront costs also equate to lower monthly costs for those who borrow. But what about running costs? Fuel is the key factor, and with gasoline prices rising, and set to continue to do so, electric two-wheelers present a very appetising alternative.

    The article takes a look at range, noting that many short-range electric two-wheeler models can achieve 75 km to 100 km of real world-range in city driving conditions, while mid-range models with real-world range closer to 150 km are in the pipeline. And with these figures and general usage patterns, charging could be well managed at home only. Home charging, however, relies very much on the user’s behaviour and can present a range of particular obstacles. For these reasons, public charging infrastructure is also important in the electric mobility big picture.

    It is noted that there would be a greater reliance on public charging in the earlier years of adoption, while home facilities are installed and integrated into new developments. The author goes on to break down the TCO considerations when including the impact of public charging:

    “From our earlier work, we know that electric models have a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than gasoline models at current gasoline prices and with home charging. Since the cost of public charging can be high, sometimes twice as high as residential electricity tariffs, I build here on our cost parity model to examine what happens to TCO parity under different charging scenarios. I assumed the average residential electricity tariff to be INR 7/kWh and the average public charging tariff to be INR 14/kWh. Further, I looked at the impact on TCO parity at two baseline prices for gasoline—average prices in 2021 and in 2019—and included a 5% annual escalation in both electricity and gasoline costs.”

    The charts below show the timescales at which a 150km real-world range electric motorbike may reach 10 year TCO cost parity with gasoline fueled motorbikes, first without, and then with incentives. The incentives calculation “includes the revised FAME-II upfront subsidy and the preferential Goods and Services Tax (GST) benefit for the electric model.”

    chart sourced from theicct.org
    chart sourced from theicct.org

    The figures illustrate that cost parity could be achieved by 2022 solely via home charging, and by 2023 with entirely public charging and no incentives. The charts also adjust to consider gasoline prices as they were 2 years prior, and at that rate parity is reached in 2023 with 100% home charging, and 2025 with only public charging. It can be seen that a lower gasoline price and reliance on public charging together cause the greatest delay in reaching TCO parity.

    By contrast, when the chart takes purchase incentives into account, parity is already be achieved even if relying solely on the more expensive public charging. On top of this, incentives can also counteract a gasoline cost reduction to 2019 prices. There author notes that, “the current upfront purchase incentives are playing an enabling role in alleviating any charging cost related anxiety that consumers might have. That’s especially useful in the early phases of the market when the infrastructure for home charging is less mature.”

    The article goes on to elaborate on some of the challenges and barriers involved in home charging, such as socket requirements, and objections from neighbours or housing associations. It concludes that achieving TCO parity is key to the adoption of electric two-wheelers by the mass market, and that it is therefore the perfect time for governments to take action in incentivising their uptake.

    Read the original in more detail here: https://theicct.org/charging-electric-2w-india-sept21?utm_source=ICCT+mailing+list&utm_campaign=d5a2a307e4-lately_from_feb2018_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ef73e76009-d5a2a307e4-510831568

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