Take all relevant research institutions, planners and consulters, interest groups, authorities and manufacturers that are engaged in bicycling – voila, what you get is “Cycle Competence Austria” , an association of researcher and practitioners, who joined forces for the sake of further pushing the current bicycling boom and making knowledge available.
The world’s biggest bicycling summit – Velo-city – takes place in Arnhem-Nijmegen, in the Dutch province of Gelderland these days. Today the Cycle Competence Austria had the nice opportunity to present bicycling knowledge “Made in Austria” to a broad audience.
Being a nation with still a lot of potential for a larger bicycle mode share, but quite exhaustive experiences and a growing body of knowledge, Austria can serve as front runner for so called climbing nations. In this session, six members of the Cycle Competence network presented their respective contribution to a prospering bicycling environment.
Martin Eder, the national bicycle advocate , started the series of presentations with an overview of national activities for bicycle promotion. He paid special attention to the second edition of the national masterplan , in which the official goal of 13% in the modal split by 2025 is published. In order to reach this, several national initiatives, such as the research funding program “Mobility of the Future” are launched and supported.
After Martin, Andrea Weninger from Rosinak & Partner shared here extensive experience in bicycle masterplan creation processes. She came up with a list of six points, which she regards to be essential for successful planning processes. Two of these success factors are to go for user-tailored masterplans (instead of copy-pasting elements from elsewhere), which are inspired by locals.
Andreas Friedwagner (Verracon ) went on with a GIS-based analyses of accessibility and travel time analysis in the federal state of Vorarlberg. His beautiful maps clearly indicate which areas are well-served in terms of bicycle infrastructure and where improvements need to be made in order to motivate people to switch from car to active mobility. Interestingly, Andreas found in his studies that speed limits for cars (30 km/h within residential areas) have the most direct impact on overall bicycling safety.
Currently we are in an interesting transition phase from data scarcity in bicycle promotion to a data deluge (one of Andrea’s argument was that not everything that could be measured really contributes to a better understanding). However, the colleagues from BikeCitizens with their CEO Daniel Kofler do a great job in packing routing and navigation, promotion with gamification components and bicycle intelligence into a single app: the BikeCitizens app .
The session was completed by two contributions from research institutions. First I gave an overview of three current research project and argued that the spatial perspective facilitates joint efforts across domain boundaries:
After my presentation, Markus Straub from AIT presented two projects, each with a spatial optimization component: the EMILIA project seeks, among others, to optimize parcel deliveries in cities. In order to so the last miles from central distribution hubs to the consumer should be done by cargo-bikes. Markus and his colleagues have developed a route optimization algorithm for the delivery bicyclists. In the BBSS project a spatially explicit planning tool for optimizing the location of bike sharing stations was developed. This tool allows planners to estimate the potential demand for any location in a city.
Got interested in what happens in Austria in terms of bicycling research and promotion? Leave a comment here, visit the Cycle Competence Austria association booth at Velo-city or you can use Twitter or e-mail anytime.