Mobility and Transport

Clean transport, Urban transport

4.1 Bicycle prioritisation through traffic management and ITS

4.1 Bicycle prioritisation through traffic management and ITS

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Overview

Traffic management and the use of ITS (Intelligent Transport System) technology can be used to assign priority to cyclists. Measures include designing highways, intersections and signage. Traffic management helps to enhance the efficiency and safety of cycle journeys. ITS are also increasingly used in road transport to help cyclists be better informed and to improve the efficiency of cycle journeys using information interfaces. This may include digital signposts that provide real time information about traffic levels, alternative routes and potential complementary transport modes (such as buses or trams that allow bicycles).

Considerations for applicability

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Level of cycling

As a cycling measure, bicycle prioritisation through traffic management and ITS can require significant investment to afford priority to cyclists. As a result, the measure is particularly suited to cities where the existing level of cycling is higher to justify prioritising cycle traffic.

However, using traffic management and ITS technology to prioritise cycling can also be particularly effective in starter cities where the level of cycling is low, as it will provide significant incentive to cycle more. Modal shift may be encouraged as other road users become aware of the increase in priority and safety awarded to cyclists.

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Urban layout/topography

Traffic management and use of ITS will require adaptation of existing traffic signage and road infrastructure. It is likely to be beneficial in cities or urban areas where longer cycle journeys are being made.

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Population

Traffic management and use of ITS can improve the reliability of cycle journeys for all population groups, including commuters, students and tourists.

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Finance Resources

Where ITS is introduced, there may be high costs for new digital signage and for cameras or tracking devices to determine the location of complementary traffic modes and/or congestion levels.

In terms of prioritising cyclists using more basic forms of traffic management, priority can be indicated using painted road surfaces, signposting and/or more expensive dedicated cycle traffic light systems. The measure can be adapted according to need and resources available.

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Time & Human Resources

As indicated by the name, traffic management will require careful thought to implement. Implementation and adapting traffic management techniques to individual routes will require careful consideration and an assessment of lessons learned from previous examples.

As a result, implementing new traffic management systems may require a dedicated and/or experienced team in the design process.

Measure impact highlight

3 way arrow representing accessibilityAccessibility

Managing traffic to provide priority to cyclists will not only improve the efficiency of cycle journeys; but will also enhance the visibility of cyclists to other road users. This will further improve accessibility as all road users become accustomed to the patterns of priority and effectively improves the comfort and efficiency of cycling journeys at the expense of motorised traffic.

Note: An overview of the direct and indirect impacts resulting from correctly implemented cycling measures is available in Challenges that cities face and how cycling can address them

In-depth measure description, case studies and further guidance