Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bicycle policies of the European principals: continuous and integral

 A Fietsberaad Publication

The ten reports presented here are chiefly specifications of the general trend of ‘continuous’ and ‘integral’. Each town has its own story, with a different emphasis due to particularly local circumstances. The similarities and differences between the ten reports will be analysed in more detail at the end of this publication, in chapter 12. Ten cities with respectable bicycle use.
Often higher bicycle percentages are claimed. Upon closer examination, however, these only refer to local trips within municipal boundaries, or specific segments like commuter traffic. The table above and the national surveys below only provide data that are known to relate to the bicycle percentage in all trips (by inhabitants of the town or country concerned). These figures are derived from many sources; at least two per town (minor differences having been erased).
The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Belgium are the countries with the highest bicycle use in Europe. Within these countries, the ten cities discussed here really are foremost as far as bicycle use is concerned. Bicycle use in these countries and cities is of an altogether different level than elsewhere in Europe:
• In The Netherlands the bicycle percentage in the model split has been approx. 26% over the last decades. The top cities score between 35% and 40%; cities with the lowest bicycle use rank between 15% and 20%.
• In Denmark the bicycle percentage is between 15 and 20%. Differences in bicycle use between the cities are relatively small; bicycle use in the cities is quite commonly at a level of 20% of all trips. Only Odense and Copenhagen (far) surpass this: Odense approx. 26% and Copenhagen nearer to 32%.
• In Germany on average 10% of all trips are made by bicycle. The western federal states have a higher average bicycle use, especially Nordrhein-Westfalen. Next to Münster and Freiburg there are more cities with bicycle percentages between 20% and 30% there. In other federal states bicycles are by no means absent either; Berlin for instance has a bicycle percentage of approx. 10%.
• Belgium has an average bicycle percentage of not much more than 8%. Many cities in Flanders approach the level of Ghent: somewhat over 15%. The town of Bruges even has a slightly higher bicycle percentage.

Although average bicycle use is much lower in other European countries, there are some striking extremes:
• In Great Britain bicycle use is on average only 2% (London even slightly lower), but there are several incidental cases with a much higher degree of bicycle use (York and Hull 11%, Oxford and particularly Cambridge close to 20%). A similar pattern – even slightly more extreme – can be discerned in Sweden and especially Italy.
• Ireland scores 3% - 4%, with virtually no upward extremes (Dublin 5% at most).
• In Sweden bicycle use is on average 7% of all trips; for cities this is 10%. Peaks: Lund and Malmö 20%. The small town of Västerås (115,000 inhabitants) has an incredible 33% bicycle percentage according to a source quoted time and time again.
• In the Czech Republic, as in other Eastern European countries, there are a few cities with some degree of bicycle use (Ostrava, Olomouc and Ceské Budejovice, between 5% and 10%) and some with an even higher bicycle use (Prostejov 20%). However, average use is low: far below 5%.
• Austria has an average bicycle percentage of 9%, with Graz (14%) and Salzburg (19%) as extremes.
• Switzerland scores approximately 11% for bicycle use, with several cities at a slightly higher level, like Bern (15%), Basel (17%) and particularly Winterthur (approx. 20%).
• France has a low average bicycle use (5%), nor has it many extremes: Strasbourg 12%, Avignon 10%.
• Although in Italy average bicycle use is as low as 5% , with Rome even far below 1%, there are a number of striking exceptions. Especially the Po valley, with cities like Parma (over 15%) and with Ferrara as the best-known extreme example: around 30% bicycle percentage. Another remarkable town elsewhere in Italy is Florence (over 20%).

pictures of bicycle parking in Münster (Muenster), Germany:

more about bicycle planning:

Rent an electric bike in London

Travelwise: Bike sharing around the world

Sights and details from the 2011 NJ Bike and Walk Summit

On Amsterdam, bikes and the Copenhagen Wheel thingy

The Public transport and priority to pedestrians and bicycles as a basis for the quality of life in capital cities

Urban Bikeway Design Guide Released

NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide

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