image: The route choice of cyclists is subject to various decision factors. For example, many prefer a separate bike lane (top left) instead of sharing space with dense car traffic (top right). Depending on whether streets with heavy car traffic (thick edges) are equipped with dedicated bike paths (blue) or not (gray), cyclists take the direct route (black arrow, bottom left), take detours to stay on bike paths (bottom center) or ride on small side streets (thin edges) (bottom right). view more Credit: Christoph Steinacker In surveys, a large majority of respondents usually agree that cycling can make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gases and to sustainable transport, especially in densely populated areas. In contrast, for many countries in reality there is a large gap between desired and actual numbers. In Germany, for example, only 20% of the short-distance of everyday trips in residential environments are covered by bicycle.
When asked about the reasons, one point repeatedly comes up top of the list: The perceived or actual lack of safety on the bike routes used. Increasing the share of cycling trips in the modal split thus depends crucially on a well-developed bike path infrastructure. However, designing efficient bike path networks is a complex problem that involves balancing a variety of constraints while meeting overall cycling demand. In addition, many municipalities still only have small budgets available for improving bicycle infrastructure.
In their study, researchers from the Chair of Network Dynamics / Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden (cfaed) at TU Dresden […]