Cycling training in Bremen
The training session started with two cycle tours to visit existing cycle infrastructure including, for example: the bike station located next to the station; cycle paths and cycle lanes; solutions for cyclists at intersections and junctions; solutions for bikes and trams; a busy roundabout with motor vehicles and bicycles sharing the roundabout, but priority given to cyclists; and the new bicycle counter in Bremen, partially funded within the framework of the PRESTO project.
The tours were followed by a day-long conference in which speakers were invited to share their experience with the audience. The conference was opened by Dr Lohse, Senator for Bremen. He pointed out the high modal split of cycling in Bremen (25% of trips), and how cycling plays an important role in the urban mobility plan of Dresden. A driving policy goal in the city is to reduce the air pollution in the city, and cycling can play an important role in this. Mr Hamburger, Bremen's cycling officer, took over to explain in more depth some of the actions that the city is doing in terms of cycling, and that the participants in the cycling tour had witnessed the previous day. He pointed out that even though there was a lack of funding, money was not the main issue, but political will to make changes in favour of cyclists. The target is to increase the cycling mode share to 30% by 2020, with actions in infrastructure and promotion.
Troels Andersen from the Cycling Embassy in Denmark presented bicycle counters: "a tool or toy?". The first bicycle counters with display come form Denmark, where they are used primarily as a promotional tool. The ensuing discussion focused mainly on the distinction between cycle counters and cycle counters with displays. All in attendance agreed on the need to have more reliable statistics about cycle traffic, but the additional cost of paying for a display may best be used in cities with high modal share.
Kirsten Kock from the City of Kiel presented impressive statistics from the city which achieved a doubling of cycle modal share in ten years (from 8% to 21%) thanks to a mix of measures based on strong political engagement from the city. The City, for example, created a bicycle Forum inviting all relevant stakeholders (including political representatives from all parties) and succeeded in reducing the speed limit to 30km/h in residential areas.
A representive from the Canton of Bern in Switzerland looked in depth at how to best design intersections for cyclists, based on the experience in Bern. This was followed by a comprehensive review of methods of dealing with high capacity of cyclists by Joerg Thiemann-Linden from difu. This included examples primarily from the Netherlands and Denmark in coping with large numbers of cyclists in terms of infrastructure and parking measures. A range of documents are available at www.nrvp.de (although mainly in German, some are also in English).
All of the presentations as well as conclusions from the meeting will be available soon on www.presto-cycling.eu.