Cycling extends the catchmenCycling Growth - Layered Concept




Concept for cycling traffic growth:

a model for cycling growth for a city








Cycling in Cities; Steps toward cycling growth; A conceptual growth layer model

Some cities aspire to be cycling-active cities and reach the status of icon cities such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Freiburg and other large and smaller cities where cycling is part of the local transportation culture. Frequently, cycling is the first choice for transportation or is combined with trips by commuter train or rapid transit. For these cities, the cycling portion of the transportation mode share tends to be in the 30% plus range. For these cities, transit is an important alternative. Car usage tends to be very low when compared to most North American cities.

For these cities to reach the cycling stature with 30% plus mode share many techniques have been used. One could look at these techniques as layers, each one which can be stacked into a model for cycling growth for a city. These layers encompass the network, the infrastructure, and social marketing for selling the concept to of cycling as a viable alternative for the next trip. So goes the concept.

These layers are not unique to cycling-active cities. Even cities with very low cycling traffic may have a few of these layers in place. Now if a city were to take these successful layers and implement them, then the cycling iconic stage can be reached.

Travel provides opportunities for understanding various approaches of cities for fostering the use of cycling for transportations and stimulating cycling traffic growth.

Recently, a visit to Austin Texas provided such an opportunity to experience that city’s efforts. Some of the the cycling advancements that stood out included:

Network - Density of cycling facilities within the urban core

Infrastructure - Designing for social cycling; back-in, drive-out car parking adjacent to bike lanes; and traffic circles (small roundabouts) designs for reducing conflict and providing mini-parks.

City’s approach to cycling - Forward thinking of cycling staff – including narrower traffic lanes; cycling facilities within the city the responsibility of one group, no matter the public ownership of lands (municipal, parks, etc.); and ordinances supporting safe cycling – passing laws.

While Calgary, Alberta’s cycling mode share may be at the typically low level of North American cities, the city has developed some effective cycling network advancements, which are essential layers for this model, include:

Network – Comprehensive bike trail system along the Calgary rivers – Bow, Elbow, Nose Creek, Fish Creek, and the Western Irrigation Ditch; bike paths on arterial road right-of-ways leading into big box shopping areas from the river bike path system; start of a feeder system to transit stations (C-Train) from local neighbourhoods along arterial road bike paths and extending into local roads.

City’s policy and strategy approach to cycling – Strategy of high parking costs in the downtown Centrum while providing and promoting free car parks and cycle the last 6 or so kilometres to the downtown destination along the bike trails by the rivers, year round; a comprehensive snow clearing program that is expanding under residents’ demand along the river system of bike trails.

Each of these could be considered as layers in the pyramid that cycling-active cities have chosen to implement in their growth to an active cycling transportation mode and cycling traffic.

With time and travel more cities will be highlighted in this website.



Unless stated otherwise, photographs are the property of the article author(s)
©Photograph by H-JEH Becker, 2013
©H-JEH Becker, Velo., 2013