Integrated and extended cycling network
Debrecen/Hungary CIVITAS MOBILIS | 2005-2009
This measure was designed to improve the safety of cyclists by extending the cycle path network and improving cycling infrastructure, especially parking facilities.
Implementing sustainable mobility
Cycling is a popular mode of transport in Debrecen among all age groups. Elderly people typically cycle to the shops or to carry out daily errands, while members of the younger generation tend to cycle as a sport or hobby. The city has made efforts to encourage cycling as a sustainable mode of transportation and more and more cyclists are now on the roads. However, suitable cycling facilities are lacking and an urgent need has arisen to improve infrastructure and parking facilities.
Earlier plans to expand the cycle network were not realised due to a lack of funding. The municipality had also installed bike parking facilities in the city centre in response to the rise in bike thefts. However, the facilities were unable to meet the demand and additional security solutions were therefore required.
How did the measure progress?
The municipality decided to integrate all cycling-related developments into a strategic development plan, and a study was drawn up. The mobility advisory council invited representatives of cyclists organisations to share their expectations and opinions about appropriate developments.
In 2007, the city council approved the overall bicycle network development plan. The plan was adjusted to the city’s financial resources and foresaw the creation of 48 km of cycle lanes, around 10 km of which would be completed in an initial phase by the end of 2010.
In accordance with the requirements of the development plan, the city installed 51 secure bicycle racks at 33 locations around the city and created approximately 4 km of cycle lanes in two different areas of the city, on existing pavements and service roads in order to avoid expensive infrastructure investments.
What were the outcomes of the measure?
The Department of Sociology and Social Policy of the University of Debrecen carried out an on-street survey to assess citizens’ satisfaction with the new bicycle racks. For 85 percent of people surveyed, the bicycle is the basic means of transportation in the city. Some 53 percent of respondents were very critical of conditions for cyclists: they considered that accessibility by bike to public institutions, with the exception of educational institutions, was very bad. More than 60 percent of surveyed cyclists were satisfied with the new bicycle racks, which have an improved design compared to the previous facilities and offer greater security. Since variations in the numbers of cyclists were not significant, it was harder to assess the impact of the new cycle lanes. However, it can be said that the new racks and the extension of the cycle lanes are a response to a clear and concrete need.
One barrier identified was that the city infrastructure was not really suitable for the creation of a citywide cycling network, since the roads are generally too narrow to designate a specific cycle lane. Secondly, suitable cycling infrastructure could not be built in time to keep up with the increased popularity of cycling, which resulted in a kind of opposition between cycling representatives and the municipality. However, there were three positive features. Firstly, the establishment of the Urban Mobility Working Group helped to reduce this opposition, so that public acceptability of the development steps was ensured. Secondly, the installation of the secured racks greatly eased cyclists’ peace of mind. Thirdly, experts paid special attention to the design of the new bike parking racks, taking into consideration that modern bikes have a wider frame.
This fact sheet has been updated by a third party on the basis of available information (not by the city itself), therefore we do not guarantee any data with respect to their content, completeness or up-to-dateness.
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