The Project „eCycle Superhighway (eradschnellweg) – Facilitating the Changeover“ – New Ways of Promoting Sustainable Ways of Transport



The Project „eCycle Superhighway (eradschnellweg) – Facilitating the Changeover“ – New Ways of Promoting Sustainable Ways of Transport

Authors

Everlin Piccinini, Sustainable Mobility Research Group - Georg-August-University Goettingen, Thomas Dienberg, City of Goettingen, Sissi Karnehm-Wolf, County of Goettingen

Description

Through the creation of a trial route, the project “eCycle Superhighway – Facilitating the Changeover” in the city of Göttingen (Germany) will be building the first cycle superhighway nationwide to go straight through the center of a city.

Abstract

Cycling is fun, promotes health, is environmentally friendly and is a quick and cost-effective method of transport. A cycle superhighway should enable the riding of a bike to be a more attractive option, particularly in everyday traffic. Its purpose is to facilitate quick and safe cycling, in order for people to get quickly from A to B by bike. Therefore, the infrastructure must be suited to new demands placed upon it. This means, for example, the creation of enough sectional width, a ground surface which is as flat as possible, and a ride which is as conflict-free as can be provided, with minimal waiting time for cyclists at junctions. Through the creation of a trial route, the project “eCycle Superhighway – Facilitating the Changeover” (www.eradschnellweg.de) in the city of Göttingen (Germany) will be building the first cycle superhighway nationwide to go straight through the center of a city.

The cycle route for the pilot scheme runs from the train station past a row of large workplaces to above the northern part of the university situated in the city centre. In the medium term, an extension of the route is planned to the neighbouring boroughs of Rosdorf and Bovenden. In order to speed up the cyclists, flow sensors for the cyclists will be installed before the junctions controlled by traffic lights along the eCycle Superhighway. Depending on the amount of cycle traffic and the traffic situation, the cyclists will be given synchronized green lights. The eCycleway will be lit, and in wintery road conditions, it will be cleared as a priority. The generous breadth enables both overtaking and safe encounters with other cyclists and therefore, independent of their speed, enables cyclists to ride safely next to each other. At the train station, battery-charging facilities will be available, amongst other places, at the bicycle parking lot. The large employers along the route also offer battery-charging facilities to their employees.

In the context of this project, the primary aim of our research is to investigate which demands are placed on the infrastructure by electric bike cyclists and whether, through the provision of electric bikes, the willingness of commuters to change over from car to bike increases. Furthermore, our research also aims to identify influencing factors, which either positively or negatively affect the acceptance of electric bikes for the commute to work. For this purpose, field tests with employees from regional organizations will be carried out along three years. As part of every field test, twenty test subjects will each be given an electric bike for the period of eight weeks. Moreover, three surveys and focus group discussions will be carried out in order to provide us with a better understanding about reasons and motivation for a potential changeover from car to electric bike for commuting to work, as well as to analyze behavioral changes on commuters during the field test period. Additionally, their pattern of use will be analyzed by means of GPS tracking devices. The influence of other factors, such as weather conditions, financial costs, and practical experience, on the behavioral intention to use an electric bike for commuting to work will also be examined. The findings of this research can valuably contribute as basis for the planning of further cycle superhighways, as well as to understand the motivation of commuters travelling to work, to change over to the use of this sustainable infrastructure.

The project “eCycle Superhighways – facilitating the changeover” is one of about 30 projects in the Lower Saxony Electro-Mobility-Show Case and is supported by around 1 million euros from the Federal Ministry for Transport, Building, and Urban Development (BMVBS) as part of the Electro-Mobility Show Case Initiative.

Publisher

Association for European Transport