Flow

A flowing system is one that allows cyclists to maintain a reasonable pace, and minimises the amount of times that one has to put their foot down. Designers should consider that if infrastructure wouldn’t be suitable for a car, then why should it be suitable, on a smaller scale, for a bike?

In Copenhagen, measures have been taken to not only create a constant flow free from obstruction, but to minimise the amount of cycle congestion that can occur during peak times. In order to maintain a steady flow of cycle traffic, it must be treated with the priority that is often granted to cars. In Copenhagen, one such method of prioritisation is the ‘Green Wave’. This helps ensure a smooth and uninterrupted journey by co-ordinating the traffic lights for cyclists so that there is no need to stop at any point on major cycleways. This has been implemented to great success in Nørrebrogade, reportedly one of the busiest cycle streets in the world, which sees an average of around 10000 cyclists per day (Hembrow, 2011). Without such a system it could get quite congested during rush hour, but with this adjustment, cyclists travelling at the average speed of 15kmh are able to hit every traffic light on green. This helps make the system fast and efficient for not only cyclists but also pedestrians crossing.

Green wave, Norrebrogade / Image from www.fietsberaad.nl

Green wave, Norrebrogade / Image from fietsberaad.nl

Another measure that helps cycle journeys to be conducted easily is the addition of landscape elements that assist people in travelling on desire lines. This is done through the addition of asphalt ramps at kerbs, and the opening up of spaces around these chosen routes. This shows a true democratic conception of urban space, with realisation of the user of the space as the determinant of its form.

 

Footnotes

1. Hembrow, David. 2011 Busiest cycle street in the world [Accessed 23 July 2016]