Infrastructure Policy And Adverse Impacts On Cyclists

About the theme

In the Brazilian context, the sustainable transport discourse is effectuated, amongst others, through development of new infrastructure for non-motorized modes, especially for cycling. In some cities, however, the new facilities do not succeed in stimulating the use of bicycles as a regular transport mode. This might be caused by an infrastructure that does not meet the demands of cyclists for good access to activity places with limited exposure to impacts such as noise and stress. This research theme aims to understand the role of planning formulation and implementation strategies in stimulating bicycle transport. It will also measure the noise and stress along cycling routes in order to identify best practices for bicycle infrastructure planning.

A fast urbanization process associated with a considerable growth in the number of private cars circulating in urban areas in the latest years is now producing some pressure for improvements in the mobility conditions of many Brazilian cities. The protests observed in the major cities in 2013 were only part of this process, which has different consequences. One of them is the recent increase of bicycle infrastructure. At a first sight, this would stimulate the use of bicycles as a regular transportation mode. In many cases, however, the new facilities are not designed and implemented according to cyclists’ needs, resulting in, amongst other consequences, a low use of the recently built facilities.

This theme aims to identify successful pathways for stimulating cycling by analysing planning strategies adopted in São Carlos and São Paulo (Brazil), Groningen, Amsterdam and Houten (The Netherlands), and London (UK).The main research question that it will try to answer is: are the planning strategies adopted by Brazilian cities in the last few years for the implementation of cycling routes being effective, that is, resulting in infrastructure compatible with cyclists’ needs?

For the research, there will be carried out interviews with local stakeholders in the selected cities in Brazil, The Netherlands and the UK to understand specific aspects of planning strategies, such as addressing needs of cyclists, attributes of urban environments and cycling infrastructure, (un)successful policies and implementation processes.

For the two selected cities in the state of São Paulo, innovative sensors will measure cyclists’ exposure to noise and stress. The stress level sensors work in an armband worn by cyclists to measure changes of skin conductivity and skin temperature as indicators for stress. A mobile sensorused on a bike will measure noise exposure on bicycle routes selected for analysis.

You may find the conclusions drawn from this research particularly useful if you are or would like to bein some way involved in local planning for bicycle infrastructure or local policies to promote sustainable transport.

This theme is led by Dr. Antônio Nélson Rodrigues da Silva, Dr. Gustavo Garcia Manzato and Dr. Inaian Pignatti Teixeira.

Contact: Infrastructure Policy and Adverse Impacts on Cyclists Team

Email: anelson@sc.usp.br
Tel: +55 16 33739595
Address: Av. Trab. São-carlense 400 São Carolos, São Paulo, 13566-590, Brasil

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The DePICT project aims to determine which features of urban environments, local communities, and the governance of physical infrastructures influence walking and cycling and how these can be optimised to achieve sustainable urban mobility for all.

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