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Transportation Planning for Bicycles

In the development of the Eugene Bikeways Master Plan, the consultants kept a bicycle in the city and personally bicycled many miles of existing a nd contemplated routes. They attended the twice monthly meeting of the Bicycle Committee and received comments from local cyclists on a regular basis. toward the end of their field investigations, the consultants held a public hearing in conjunction with the state and local bicycle committees and encouraged all sectors of the community to have their say.

-- "The Evolution of a Successful Bikeway System," Public Works, August 1983.

In China all bicycles must be registered with the authorities and must display license plates. However, cyclists are not required to have driver licenses. When the ownership of a bicycle changes or the bicycle owner moves from one city to another, the bike must be registered. As a result it is very difficult to resell stolen bicycles. Bicycle theft is not a major problem in China.

-- Jun-Meng Yang, "Bicycle Traffic in China," Transportation Quarterly, Jan. 1985

In Copenhagen, the cycling city of Europe, you can see the following sign displayed in a bike shop window: "We will accept your car as down payment on your new bike."

--London Cyclist, Jan/Feb 1990. London Cycling Campaign.

When the distribution of bicycle movements throughout the week [in Uppsala, Sweden] is examined in comparison with other modes, it is clear that the bicycle is used primarily on weekdays. Only a small proportion of bicycle movements are made on the weekend: 6.5 percent on Saturday and only 4.2 percent on Sunday. Although the overall level of travel activity declines on the weekend and especially on Sunday, the weekend proportions of movements on other modes are not so low as they are for the bicycle. This temporal pattern of movement frequencies suggests that the bicycle in particular might be closely associated with the journey to work. Also, the fact that bicycles does not increase during the leisure time provided on the weekend indicates that the bicycle is being used primarily as a means of urban transportation rather than for recreation. To determine whether the bicycle is frequently used for the journey to work and whether recreation is, in fact, of relatively little importance in bicycle travel, the portion of the analysis examines the specific purposes for which bicycle trips were made.

-- Susan Hanson and Perry Hanson, Problems in Integrating Bicycle Travel into the Urban Transportation Planning Process. SUNY Buffalo

"The Department (of Transport) has welcomed in principle the proposed development of a 1000 mile strategic network of cycle routes for London." So said Robert Atkins, Minster for Roads and Traffic, in a written answer to a parliamentary question put to him on 24th April.

Following Cecil Parkinson's announcement i March that the DTp would be willing to work with the boroughs to develop a cycle route network for London, this written statement by Mr. Atkins confirmed the Department's intention to support the London Cycling Campaign's proposal.

The Minister also stated that in conjunction with the London Planning Advisory Committee (LPAC), the DTp is organizing a technical seminar to be held later this year. This will give the London Boroughs and other bodies within interest in providing cycling facilities in London the opportunity to meet and discuss the implementation of the cycle route network. The LCC will be involved in the planning of the Seminar.

--London Cyclist, July/August 1990. London Cycling Campaign.

Prior to seminars, surveys were sent to bicyclists in the industrial complex, asking them about the routes they took to work, the hazards they encountered, the number of times they bicycled, and their "wish list" for corporate involvement. ...one of the ridesharing coordinators tabulated the routing information on a large map that they displayed at the company seminars....

The enthusiastic response to the "quick-n-dirty" display map prompted the creation, nine months later, of the more complete "El Segundo Employment Center Bicycle Commuter Guide." Four-color, printed on coated paper, the map combines the best elements of "old style" bike maps, showing official bike paths, and the "new generation" bike maps that rate street conditions. The map stresses bike commuting, rather than recreational cycling....

The map clearly illustrates the adage that "bicyclists make bike paths, planners don't," which the local riders hope decision makers will note....

"We see that bicycling is essential to solving our problem, when it's part of a mix of transportation strategies,: said Rob Blanche, ESEA's transportation planner.

-- Sharon Buchalter and Erica Goebel, "LA Working on Getting to Work!", Bicycle Forum #10, (1983)

Main street is usually crammed with automobiles. The automobiles fill every possible place to park along the curbs, and drivers must wait in long queues to get through the next intersection. There are a lot of drawbacks in this situation. First, there are fewer visitors to the businesses and governmental offices because the visitors must spend time looking for a place to leave their automobiles. The visitors also expend their emotional goodwill while waiting in the queues and competing for parking spaces. Second, everyone must breathe air that is substantially deteriorated by the admixture of noxious fumes from tailpipes, and the fact that the fossil fuels that make noxious fumes are finite and are rapidly declining does not lessen the discomfort...

Recently, bicycle transportation has received popular and research attention. It has become apparent that bicycle transportation is a possible alternative for solving the problems of immobility, traffic congestion, air pollution and energy shortages. However, there has been little research on the actual reasons why people choose bicycles as a transportation mode.

--Donna Lott and Dale Lott (Bicycle Research Associates, Davis, CA) and Timothy Tardiff (U Cal. Davis); Bicycle Transportation for Downtown Work Trips: A Case Study in Davis, California.

According to RoSPA [Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents], the new Cycleway [educational program for children] is an evolution of the NCPS [National Cycling Proficiency Scheme] and not a revolution. The main difference will be in the teaching philosophy -- more discussion and problem solving will be encouraged to allow the pupils to work things out for themselves rather than simply memorize a set of rules.

Cycleway will be officially launched in 1990. Should you wish to obtain further details, contact either your local road safety officer or RoSPA, Cannon House, Priory Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6BS.

--London Cyclist, Jan/Feb 1990. London Cycling Campaign.

Solutions for Slippery Steel Plates

The [Toronto] Public Works Department has agreed to paint them with highly visible yellow non-skid paint, and either bevel the edges or feather the asphalt around them so the edges don't destroy bicycle wheels. They are also testing two new orange plastic plates, apparently with non-skid surfaces, which may some day replace the steel ones. [steel is easily recyclable, the plastic, may not be].

Cycling Committee members will work with Public Works staff in evaluating the painted steel plates and the new plastic plates.

--Cyclometer January, 1990. Toronto City Cycling Committee.

One place where the bicycle is accepted as a legitimate means of transportation is Madison, Wisconsin. "We've had a long range bike plan since 1975," says Arthur Ross, Madison's bicycle coordinator. Madison, the capital city with a population of 170,000, has an extensive bikeway network comprised of 20 miles of paths, 13 miles of lanes, 59 miles of mixed traffic routes and 7 miles of sidewalk routes.

Ross also points to madison's pedestrian/bicycle subcommittee, a division of the local transportation commission. It ensures that the opinions of cyclists are represented within city government. "The subcommittee is just one more way of recognizing how important bicycle issues are," he says.

--Susan Sorensen, "Cities Making a Difference," Bicycling,

Bicycle programs must be included int he Unified Planning Work Program and other appropriate DOT plans to receive DOT financial assistance and to receive EPA 175 (Urban Air Quality Grant) funds.

Some transportation measures in the Clean Air Act, as amended 1977:

--Dan Convissor

For example, 13% of all vehicle trips are made by bicycle in Madison, Wisconsin, an estimated 33% of all trips in Gainsville, Florida, and over 25% in Davis, California.

However, a survey in Pennsylvania in 1974 indicated that for all bicyclists, 58% would have otherwise reached their destination in a car, 33% as a driver and 25% as a passenger, if they couldn't travel by bicycle. Only 3% would have used a bus or motorcycle. For bicyclists over 16, 62% would have driven a car, and 12% would have been an auto passenger. Forty percent of the bicyclists under 16 would have been an auto passenger, and 55% would have walked.

A survey in Washington, DC indicated a higher percentage of bicyclists would have walked if bicycles were not an option. Sixteen percent would have walked if bicycles were not an option. Sixteen percent would have driven or been a passenger in a car for school trips, 40% for personal business, and 32% for work trips.

After construction of a bicycle bridge in Eugene, Oregon, bicyclists using all three bridges in the city were surveyed. Twenty-nine percent of the bicycle riders surveyed said they used a car less frequently as a result of the bicycle bridge construction.

Primary modes of travel for which the bicycle substituted, by age of bicyclist

Age     Walking   Drive car    Passenger in car    Bus    Other

<6       60%       -                36%            1%     3%
6-11     58%       -                38%            2%     2%
12-15    50%       1%               43%            2%     4%
16-19    28%      42%               22%            3%     5%
20-23    17%      69%                7%            1%     6%
24-29    20%      71%                9%            2%     -
30-44    20%      66%                9%            1%     4%
45-59    15%      73%                8%            3%     1%
6>       27%      59%                -            11%     3%

Total    37%      33%              25%            2%      3%

Bike lanes shared with parked cars: Low cost, Bicyclists subject to serious injury from opening car doors, cars driving across bike lane to park.

--Marda Formann Mayo, Bicycling and Air Quality Information Document, prepared for USEPA by Abt Associates, Sept. 1979.

[PHOTO: bicyclist] Up to the Bicycle Page or to it's Planning Section.


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Last updated: 7 April 1999