||Nowadays, the opinion supporting that the citizens of big urban areas should
change their transport habits is going from strength to strength. The problems caused
by the extended use of private motor vehicles, tend to prove that it is indispensable to
turn our attention to more vulnerable transport modes. Social problems, as congestion
and environmental pollution, combined with personal problems, such as lack of training
and isolation, creating the prospect that if the vulnerable transport modes, and mostly
the bicycle, become attractive and competent to the traditional modes, the social and
individual benefits will be very important.
Nevertheless, in order to encourage the citizens to change their habits, we must
provide them the appropriate circumstances. In some places around Europe, like
Copenhagen, the conditions achieve already a high level, resulting to the positive
response of the citizens. However, in some other places, like Patras, there are no
special conditions that encourage citizens to cycle or to walk. In the first occasion we
need to propose some measures that will keep improving the status of bicycle in the
transport network. In the second occasion, we need to apply fundamental actions
focused on the construction of appropriate facilities and the traffic education of the
people, concerning the circulation of vulnerable road users.
During this study, we focus only on the improvement of cycling conditions, because
bicycle is easier to become competent against the other modes and mostly car. At first,
we record the existing situation of Copenhagen, focusing on special regulations that
favor the cyclists. Afterwards, the observations are associated with the opinion of a
specific part of the citizens. Specifically, based on a prototype questionnaire, we
request the opinion of numerous students of DTU about the cycling conditions and
their road behavior as cyclists.
Moreover, we attempt to determine the personal characteristics that make a citizen
more likely to be attracted to cycle. The tool, for this effort is another set of data, more
representative this time. We run a multinomial logit model, using as explanatory
variables several personal characteristics and we predict the preferred transport mode
for each citizen. The results from the two investigations are interesting, thus they
provide important information about the problems that still concern the cyclists, as well
as they reveal those population groups that tend to prefer cycling and they can
constitute better target groups for further promotion of cycling, in the near future.
Furthermore, we handle the situation of Patras, recording again the situation and
pointing on the absence of adequate facilities, we try to export some proposals that will
make the city more bicycle friendly. The opinion of the citizens plays crucial role again.
Another questionnaire, focused more on qualitative values, depicted the conditions that
the usual cyclists confront. The elaboration of the facts leads to the proposition of a
specific plan, which aims to establish bicycle tracks in a route which connects the
center of the city with the University area and also the implementation of some
measures that will assure the normal introduction of bicycle in the traffic environment
of the city.
Concluding, this study provides some special results for each situation, which
cannot be used easily to other places, but also it provides some useful guidelines
about the important factors that affect the cycling conditions of a city. These factors are
sufficient, but if we want to sum up the whole results in two words, those would be
INFRASTRUCTURE and EDUCATION.