Cycling mobility

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Copenhagen inner city cycle traffic peak hour
Copenhagen inner city cycle traffic peak hour

Cycling is one of the various types of private transport and a major part of individual mobility. Cycling has been considered

[in] economic and social terms, [influencing] or [impacting] upon transport, mobility, environment and climate change, the economy and tourism. ... As a means of transport over short distances, cycling brings certain economic, environmental and health-related benefits.

Cycling mobility must be contrasted with mass automobility for which it is an immediate competitor in cities and for shorter distances.

Cities are a hotbed for experimenting with new bicycle-based forms of mobility like bicycle sharing, electric bicycles and transport of bulky goods with cargo bikes.[1] After decades of relative stagnation in bicycle development, new technologies and materials are tried to further improve upon the environmental footprint of the bicycle. [2] Even though it is recognized that cycling - the one foremost active mobility besides walking - is the most sustainable kind of mobility and means of transportation, in some countries, cycling is still the mode of transport for the poor; in others, cycling is seen fit only for leisure purposes.[3] In a 2010 document requested by the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism that mobility not only entails the ability to travel, but also encompasses, more importantly, the possibility for the traveller to decide when and where to travel.[4] In terms of this flexibility and cost, bicycles rank among the top choices for shorter distances, up to several kilometers.

Positive aspects[edit]

Further following positive aspects are:[4]

  • transport efficiency - cycling is the fastest and most flexible mode for 'door to door' travel, like in bicycle commuting.
  • environmental benefits - most energy efficient means of transport, with the least pollution.
  • health and fitness issues - 4 hours of cycling per week or approximately 10 km of cycling per day, equivalent to the average cycle trip to and from work, is an adequate level of exercise.
  • economic and social impacts - cycling provides transport to segments of the population who would not otherwise be able to travel independently for reasons of age (student transport), poverty, insufficient public transport infrastructure, etc.

Negative aspects[edit]

  • lack of or inadequacy of road and parking infrastructures - roads are built for cars and bicycle paths are often in worse condition than roads. Cycling infrastructure and bicycle-friendliness is generally neglected in favor of a car-centric infrastructure.
  • cyclists’ safety and security - the common space for cars and bicycles on the road is not complemented by the same rights and significantly higher risk of accidents for cyclists.
  • weather conditions - rain and snow impact the unsheltered cyclist more than car drivers.
  • poor intermodality - because of lack of transport facilities for the bicycles themselves (in trains, buses, etc.) for longer distances.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Cycling mobility in the EU". European Parliament Think Tank. 2015-05-20.
  2. ^ Coelho, Margarida C.; Almeida, Diogo (2015). "Cycling Mobility – A Life Cycle Assessment Based Approach". Transportation Research Procedia. Elsevier BV. 10: 443–451. doi:10.1016/j.trpro.2015.09.094. ISSN 2352-1465.
  3. ^ "International Cycling Conference 2017" (PDF). Umweltbundesamt. 2017.
  4. ^ a b "The Promotion of Cycling" (PDF). ECF. 2010.