German cities gently begin to make cycling visible
By Doris Johnsen, Institute for Innovation an Technology (iit) within VDI/VDE-IT GmbH and Frederik Vorholt, TÜV Rheinland Consulting GmbH, VDI/VDE Innovation und Technik GmbH
In the framework of the German “Immediate Action Programme for Clean Air” 65 cities worked out measures for their future mobility systems in so called “Green City Plans (GCPs). These GCPs were aimed as long-term and strategic plans for sustainable urban mobility as well as the basis for later applications for specific grants within the overarching funding program.
In the following the evaluation of all 55 publicly accessible GDPs shall be shortly reported. Evaluation was done with regard to cycling.
Among all cities which elaborated a Green City Plan the three prioritised pillars of a sustainable urban mobility are a) enhancing traffic flow by investing in traffic management, b) supporting and expanding the use of electric vehicles (EVs) and c) improving public transport (PT).
To create a sustainable urban mobility system all transport modes such as motorised private transport, public transport, cycling and walking as well as forms of collective transport or sharing need to be equally supported and given equal public space.
An evaluation by city size shows that the smallest cities give cycling the highest priority. Major cities with a size of 250.000 to 500.000 inhabitants list measures to enhance the use of bicycles although they do not give priority to cycling within their mobility systems.
Most of the German Cities don’t specify measures on cycling in the GCPs in detail. However, the expansion of the cycling path networks, particularly even cycling highways, is mentioned frequently. Accordingly, these cities will provide an infrastructure that makes cycling safer and faster. Furthermore, bicycles, especially electric rental bikes, are often seen to be part of mobility hubs at which public transport, cycling, car sharing and pedestrian traffic are connected to make multimodal trips more attractive. Thus as being part of the mix of transport modes, cycling will get a higher visibility in German cities in the future even though cities focus on measures to optimize motorized and public transport these days.
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