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Results of the Cycle Competence municipalities survey

In autumn 2019, the Cycle Competence platform surveyed municipalities and communities on their cycle traffic systems. We compiled a questionnaire allowing local authorities to check the frame work for cycling with the help of a traffic light system. Here we are presenting the results for the first time and translate the questionnaire’s 26 questions.

We invite you to use them as inspiration for similar surveys in your country, if you are interested. You can find the complete translations at the end of the article, below the results.

The results

In total, 114 municipalities (out of 500 we had contacted via mail) returned the results of their questionnaire to us. The answers to the 26 questions only show the assessment made by the person filling out the questionnaire and were not checked for their factual and data basis. This means our survey can provide a general picture of around 20% of the municipalities with more than 2,500 inhabitants in Austria but no representative picture. We also asked the people filling out the questionnaire to state their role within the local authority to estimate the influence this might have had on their answers. The full analysis of the survey is available here in German.

The survey shows that 52% of the municipalities taking part already have a cycle coordinator:

Asked about financial subsidies for purchases of cargo bikes or bike trailers, 73% replied they did not offer any, but 27% percent do so. Cargo bike subsidies in Vienna, Graz, Linz and Salzburg have meanwhile shown to provide good stimuli and the long-running subsidy available in Vorarlberg for trailers to transport children can be seen as a model example.

As for annual investments in cycling, over half of the municipalities estimate them to be under €5. Cycle Competence member Radlobby Austria’s recommendation is €30 when aiming to achieve tangible progress in cycle traffic. The fifty-fifty split among respondents also showed in the questions about whether or not local public servants were offered a job bike and whether or not advise on bike purchases was offered.

63% of municipalities had a cycle traffic or cycle route concept in place but 14% of those were older than 10 years:

Where the questions on the quality of the cycling network was answered by citizens, not officials of the municipality,  their assessment was much more negative than in cases where mayors and officials answered the questionnaire.

Only a small minority of 17% of municipalities had current data on their cycle traffic figures. The vast majority never did any counting or other data collection. Only 9% are using GPS data of cyclists to plan routes. When it comes to bike parking, especially at public transport stations, 43% answered it was “sufficient”, 24% declined this. 37% have no public charging stations for e-bikes but 22% offer public bike sharing.

Again around half of the municipalities have implemented PR measures to promote cycling as every-day means of transport. Very encouraging is the 91% share regularly offering activities in the field of cycle traffic at schools.

26 questions

The questionnaire compiled by Cycle Competence covered several fields: Administration, cycle traffic network, database, cycle parking and rental, communication, individual assessment. After answering all the questions, municipalities could check where action is required taken on the way to a cycle-friendly municipality. We invite you to use the questionnaire as inspiration for similar surveys in your country, if you are interested.

Administration

  • Is there a cycle coordinator in your municipality?
  • Are financial subsidies for purchasing cycle trailers, cargo bikes, folding bikes or e-bikes available in your municipality?
  • What do the annual investments in cycle traffic per inhabitant amount to? (under 5€ per capita, more than 5€, more than 10€)
  • Are office bikes available for local government employees? (none, one, several)
  • Has your municipality already done a cycle evaluation or a cycle consultation? (no, yes – more than 5 years ago, yes)
  • Is there a regular cycle meeting or a local cycle lobby group talking to municipality representatives on a regular basis?

Cycle traffic network

  • Has your municipality created a concept for cycle traffic or cycle routes? (no, yes – but it is older than 10 years, yes)
  • How continuous is the cycle traffic network in your municipality (a lot of gaps, a few gaps, hardly any gaps)
  • Are there good cycling connections to neighbouring municipalities? (to none, to some, to all)
  • Are there bicycle streets in your municipality? (not yet, one, several)
  • How many one-way streets (in both directions) and pedestrian zones are open to cyclists? (fewer than 50%, more than 50%, almost all of them)
  • Are cycle paths cleaned in winter? (rarely, mostly, all the time)

Database

  • Are you using cycle counting stations or are counts done manually? (no, a while ago, yes)
  • What is the share of cycle traffic of all distances covered within your municipality? (less than 5% or no survey available, more than 5%, more than 15%)
  • Do you use GPS data of cyclists for planning cycling routes?

Cycle parking and rental

  • Are there roofed high-quality cycle parking facilities at train stations and important public transport station? (no, yes – but not enough, yes)
  • Are there sufficient high-quality cycle parking facilities at important locations within the municipality (local authority buildings, shops, sports grounds, schools etc)? (only at few, at several, at all)
  • Are there publicly available e-bike loading bays?
  • Is there a bike rental for tourists, are there public rental bikes or rental cargo bikes? (no, tourist rental, public (cargo) bikes)

Communication

  • Is there currently publicity work done to promote every-day cycling (municipal newspaper, website, brochures, cycle maps etc)? (no/previously yes/yes)
  • Has your municipality done cycle promotion work such as bicycle festivals, cycling parades, cycling courses, competitions etc? (none / one or two activities / yes, more than two activities)
  • Are there regular cycling activities at schools (cycle training, cycling exam, cycling excursions)? (no, none of the above / yes, the cycling exam / yes, several activities)
  • Is there cycling signposting in your municipality? (no / only in some places / on all cycling routes)

Assessment

  •  How cycle friendly do you think your municipality is in general? (hardly cycle friendly / average / very)
  • Do you feel the conditions for cycling in your municipality are safe for cycling children or the elderly? (not really / average / very)
  • How comfortable do you feel when you cycle in your municipality? (not very / I rarely cycle / very comfortable)

Download results here in German.

Text: Editors AH

Posted on April 16, 2020