"Bicycle-friendly" describes policies and practices which may help some people feel more comfortable about traveling by bicycle with other traffic. The level of bicycle-friendliness of an environment can be influenced my many factors resulting from town planning and cycling infrastructure decisions.
The manner in which the public roads network is designed, built and managed can have a significant effect on the utility and safety of cycling as transport. Settlements that provide a dense roads network consisting of interconnected streets will tend to encourage cycling.
In contrast, other communities may use a cul-de-sac based, housing estate/housing subdivision model where minor roads are disconnected and only feed into a street hierarchy of progressively more "arterial" type roads. Designs that propose to resolve the contradiction between the cul-de-sac and the traditional interconnected network, such as the Fused Grid, have been proposed and built with varying levels of success.
In the UK, the principle of 'filtered permeability' has been proposed in some Government guidance, to maximise the ease of movement of cyclists and pedestrians, whilst constraining it for motor vehicles (see: Permeability (spatial and transport planning).
Aspects of the cycling infrastructure may be viewed as either cyclist-hostile or as cyclist-friendly. In general, roads infrastructure based on prioritising certain routes in an attempt to create a state of constant "flow" for vehicles on that route, will tend to be hostile to those not on that route. In 1996, the British Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) and the Institute for Highways and Transportation jointly produced the document "Cycle-friendly infrastructure: Guidelines for planning and design". This defined a hierarchy of measures for cycling promotion in which the goal is to convert a more or less cyclist-hostile roads infrastructure into one which encourages and facilitates cycling.
Traffic reduction can involve direct or indirect methods. A proven indirect method of reducing motor traffic, and facilitating cyclist and pedestrian use, is to adopt the shared space system. This system, by giving equal priority to all road users, and by removing conventional road markings, road signs and road conventions, capitalises on the tendency for all road users to respect and trust each-other when they are interacting on an equal basis. No explicit, or even implicit priority is given to traffic travelling along the road, so with no assumptions of priority being possible, all road users need to be aware of all other road users at all times.
New Road in Brighton was remodelled using this philosophy, and the results were a 93% reduction in motor traffic and a 22% increase in cycling traffic. Other indirect methods involve reducing the infrastructural capacity dedicated to moving or storing road vehicle. This can involve reducing the number of road lanes, closing bridges to certain vehicle types and creating vehicle restricted zones or environmental traffic cells. In the 1970s the Dutch city of Delft began restricting private car traffic from crossing the city centre. Similarly, Groningen is divided in to four zones that cannot be crossed by private motor-traffic, (private cars must use the ring road instead). Cyclists and other traffic can pass between the zones and cycling accounts for 50%+ of trips in Groningen (which reputedly has the third highest proportion of cycle traffic of any city). The Swedish city of Gothenburg uses a similar system of traffic cells. Starting in the 1970s, the city of Copenhagen, which is noted for high cycling levels, adopted a policy of reducing available car parking capacity by several per cent a year. The city of Amsterdam, where around 40% of all trips are by bicycle, adopted similar parking reduction policies in the 80s and 90s.
Direct traffic reduction methods can involve straightforward bans or more subtle methods like road pricing schemes or road diets. The London congestion charge reportedly resulted in a significant increase in cycle use within the affected area.
Speed reduction has traditionally been attempted by the introduction of statutory speed limits. Traffic speeds of 30 km/h (20 mph) and lower are said to be more desirable on urban roads with mixed traffic. The Austrian city of Graz, which has achieved steady growth in cycling, has applied 30 km/h limits to 75% its streets since 1994. Speed limits which are set below the speed that most motorists perceive to be reasonable for the given road require additional measures to improve compliance. Attempts to improve speed limit observance are usually by either education, enforcement or road engineering. Education can mean publicity campaigns or targeted road user training. Speed limit Enforcement techniques include: direct police action, automated systems such as speed cameras or vehicle activated signs or traffic lights triggered by traffic exceeding a preset speed threshold. One cycling expert argues for placing direct restrictions on motor-vehicle speed and acceleration performance. An EU report on promoting walking and cycling specifies as one of its top measures comprehensive camera-based speed control using mainly movable equipment at unexpected spots. The Netherlands has an estimated 1,500 speed/red-light camera installations and has set a target for 30 km/h limits on 70% of urban roads. The UK has more than 6,000 speed-cameras, which raised more than £100 million in fines in 2006/07. Cycling has been declining in the UK in recent years. Engineering measures involve physically altering the road layout or appearance to actively, or passively slow traffic down. Measures include speed humps, chicanes, curb extensions, and living street and shared space type schemes. The town of Hilden in Germany has achieved a rate of 24% of trips being on two wheels, mainly via traffic calming and the use of 30 km/h (20 mph) zones. As of 1999, the Netherlands had over 6000 woonerven where cyclists and pedestrians have legal priority over cars and where a motorised speed limit of "walking speed" applies. However, some UK and Irish "traffic calming" schemes, particularly involving road narrowings, are viewed as extremely hostile and have been implicated directly in death and injury to cyclists.
Recent implementations of shared space schemes have delivered significant traffic speed reductions. The reductions are sustainable, without the need for speed limits or speed limit enforcement. In Norrköping, mean traffic speeds have dropped from 21 to 16 km/h (13 to 10 mph) since the implementation of such a scheme.
How traffic signals are designed and implemented directly impacts cyclists. For instance, poorly adjusted vehicle detector systems, used to trigger signal changes, may not correctly detect cyclists. Traffic managers in Copenhagen link cyclist-specific traffic signals on a major arterial bike lane to provide green waves for rush hour cycle-traffic. Cycling-specific measures that can be applied at traffic signals include the use of advanced stop lines and/or bypasses.
The frequency with which lights change is important to cyclists who may conserve energy by anticipating green lights ahead ie. the shorter the interval the better for cyclists
Cycle friendly infrastructure argues for a marked lane width of 4.25 m (14 ft). It is argued that, on undivided roads, this width provides cyclists with adequate clearance from passing wide vehicles while being sufficiently narrow to deter motorists from attempting to “double up” and form two lanes. This “doubling up” effect may be related to junctions. At non-junction locations, greater width might be preferable if this effect can be avoided.
The sharing of Bus lanes by both bus and bicycle traffic has been described as "generally very popular" with cyclists. Guidance produced for Cycling England endorses bus lanes as providing cyclists with a direct and barrier free route into town centres and as avoiding the difficulties associated with other provisions such as shared-use footways. According to a French survey 42% of cyclists described themselves as "enthusiasts" for shared bus bike lanes versus 33% who were of mixed opinion and 27% who were opposed. Many cycling activists view these as being more attractive than cycle paths, while others object to being in close proximity to bus exhausts.
As of 2003, mixed bus/cycle lanes accounted for 118km of the 260km of cycling facilities in Paris. The French city of Bordeaux has 40km of shared bus cycle lanes. It is reported that that in the city of Bristol, a showcase bus priority corridor, where road space was re-allocated along a 14km stretch also resulted in more space for cyclists and had the effect of increasing cycling. The reverse effect has also been suggested, a review carried out in London reports that cycling levels fell across Kew bridge following the removal of a bus lane - this was despite a general increase in cycling level in the city generally. In addition, it is arguably easier, politically speaking, to argue for funding of joint facilities rather than the additional expense of both segregated cycling facilities and bus-only lanes.
In some instances. bus lane proposals have run into vehement opposition from cyclists reps - a typical theme is the perceived generation of conflict due to the narrowing of other lanes already shared by cars/cyclists so as to create space for the bus lanes The TRL reports that cyclists and bus drivers tend to have low opinions of each other There have been reports in Dublin of conflict as cyclists choose to cycle in the bus lanes and a bus driver apparently expected them to use adjacent cycle tracks instead. In some other cities the arrangements seem to work successfully, with bus companies and cyclists' groups taking active steps to ensure that understanding is improved between the two groups of road users.
Secure parking is argued to be a key factor influencing the decision to cycle. To be considered secure, the parking must be of a suitable design: allowing the bicycle to be locked via the frame. A readily observable location can also permit so-called passive security from passers-by. Weather protection is also desirable. As a rule, where cycling is encouraged as an alternative to motoring, efforts are made to make bicycle parking more convenient and attractive to use than nearby car parking arrangements. This usually means providing a wide distribution of visible, clearly designated parking spots, close to the entrances of destinations being served.
Storage rooms or bicycle lockers may also be provided. In some cases large concentrations of bike parking may be more appropriate, sometimes being supervised and sometimes charging a fee. Examples include large bike parks at public transport interchanges such as railway, subway, tram or bus stations where they may be useful in Mixed-mode commuting.
Conversely, where cycling is seen as an unwelcome or inappropriate activity, bicycle parking may simply not be provided or else deliberately placed at awkward, out-of-sight, locations away from public view. Cyclists may even be expressly forbidden from parking their bicycles at the most obvious and convenient locations. In April 2007, the authorities at the University of California's Santa Barbara campus started confiscating bicycles not parked at the allegedly inconvenient official bike racks
Publication No. WO/2009/078684 Published on June 25, Assigned to General Rotor for Bicycle Driving Unit (South Korean Inventor)
Nov 04, 2009; GENEVA, June 25 -- Jae Ho Hong, South Korea, has developed a driving unit for bicycle. The patent has been assigned to General...