Pushing meaningful initiatives and measures to foster bicycle mobility
Of course, increasing awareness of its benefits already is a most important measure to foster bicycle mobility. In addition to that, initiatives can be distinguished into activities to directly change attitudes and behavior, and into activities to improve conditions for bicycle mobility. It goes without saying that both aspects have to be considered in a concerted strategy to create maximum effect.
To make sure that conditions for bicycle mobility improve, our following recommendations address all elements of the system “bicycle mobility”:
- The vehicle itself as well as accessories, gadgets and clothes have loads of innovation potentials. The main challenges will be to improve safety (both against theft and against injuries), comfort (also with respect to weather and climate), style, and navigation. To realize these potentials, it is high time to increase the share of bicycle-directed public and private sponsorship for innovation, research, and development.
- To tap on the local opportunities regarding design, production, cultural adaptation and especially service offers, governments must encourage local industry and start-ups to engage in this area. If needed, support in how to realize this could be sought from institutions world-wide already advanced in this field, or from the bicycle mobility competence centers (proposed above).
- To reduce the need for long distance trips (in rural and urban areas). This could be possible for example by offering work and shopping opportunities close to or at your home.
- In infrastructure development it is vital to make sure that enough space is provided for bicycles and other active mobility alternatives to come – which are sure to further increase both in volume and vehicle size. In doing so, the potentials of light construction and sustainable surfaces offer exciting new realization perspectives, which may also help to overcome interferences with motorized vehicles and climate-based discomfort.
- Mobility and traffic-related laws and regulations need to encourage bicycle traffic and other forms of active mobility. This includes tax allowance for commuters, access to streets and city centers, and the management of traffic flow. Similarly, in signposting, orientation, and mobility information active mobility alternatives should be put in first place.
- Exciting opportunities arise through fostering a bicycle-centered tourism. This increases the attractiveness of tourism-focused cities and sites, retain the sustainability of these places, and provide for yet more local jobs and business opportunities.
- An exploration and implementation of effective ways of bike sharing, services, networking, and orientation solutions complement these activities.
- As a yardstick for all developments around sustainable mobility, a set of life cycle assessment tools has to be conceived.
To change people’s behavior, activities should include a concerted selection of approaches in localized campaigning to build up awareness and lifestyle around bicycle traffic. These should have a special focus on those groups that would benefit most and generate a large impact regarding sustainability, like school children, employees, elderly, and local transportation businesses.
To help complement the argumentations and reasoning, please mail your ideas and suggestions to Elke Jorzyk