Cycling is currently the fastest growing mode of transport in cities. The potential for accelerating cycling through ITS (intelligent transportation service) and other intelligent solutions is huge. Cities and the private sector can work together to make sure the innovations and new technologies align with the needs of both public authorities and residents for mobility, better use of public space, freedom from congestion, better quality of life, improved public health, more vibrant urban life, and reduced noise, emissions and pollution.
This blog presents some solutions from Denmark, which can easily be implemented elsewhere to achieve common goals. Optimizing Flow, Speed, and Safety
Cities can accelerate cycling uptake by making it even more attractive to cycle—by optimizing corridor flow and speed for cyclists and reducing the number of stops. For decades, cities have worked to ease these aspects of the driving experience for motor vehicle drivers. Yet stopping at an intersection is arguably even more annoying
the driving experience for motor vehicle drivers. Yet stopping at an intersection is arguably even more annoying for a cyclist who must give up momentum by braking and subsequently use more energy to get back up to speed. Transfer of the technology and practices already proven to be effective in car lanes can achieve these results in bicycle lanes.
Riding the Green Wave
Cycling through several intersections without having to stop is called a green wave. To help their cyclists ride the green wave, some Danish cities post signs or LED lights advising cyclists of the cycling speed that will keep them in sync with the traffic signals. The city of Aarhus is testing an RFDI technology that enables cyclists to carry an RFDI chip on their bikes that can activate the green signal phase at an upcoming intersection when passing an RFDI detector placed in the cycling lane a measured distance ahead of the signal.
Siemens has created an app-based system called SiBike that determines the speed and direction of the cyclists via the GPS sensor in their smart phone and activates upcoming green traffic signals.
Supercykelstisekretariatet (The Cycle Superhighway Secretariat) in Greater Copenhagen is testing a countdown system that allows cyclists to see when the signal will turn green and use that information to adapt their speed to the signals.
In the most optimal systems, a cyclist would not have to activate, wear a device, or change her behavior, but be automatically detected and the signal dynamically adapt to the actual speed of the cyclist.