December 12, 2019

Cycle superhighways - a path for sustainable mobility

Ramboll concept for cycle superhighways to connect cities in Scania, southern Sweden.

With long winter nights, strong winds and plenty of rain, Scandinavia may not seem to be the most obvious place to commute by bike. Recent numbers from Copenhagen attest the unlikely. Since 2010 the number of cyclists on the eight cycle superhighways in greater Copenhagen area has increased with 23%. Even more encouraging is that 14% of the cyclists used to be sitting in their car.

The region and several municipalities in Scania now hope to emulate the results from Copenhagen by establishing a cycle superhighway network and significantly improve the possibilities to commute by bike to larger urban areas. With Malmö as well recognized cycling city as a stronghold in the Region.

Ramboll cycling experts from Sweden and Denmark have worked together on the project. The concept has been put to test on a couple of existing cycle paths, 10-20 km of length, in the Scania region to ensure implementation and uptake.

“It’s largely about improving, rebuilding and connecting lanes that already exist. There’s a great commitment from the municipalities and other stakeholders to make the region even more bicycle friendly,” Olle Evenäs, bicycle expert and Project Manager at Ramboll says.

Make bicycling a natural choice for everyday travel

What defines a cycle superhighway is that it binds several urban agglomerations together and that there is a common standard and using the same design language. Ramboll’s cycling experts are also supporting the city of Berlin in their efforts to establish cycle superhighways. The paths should provide high accessibility, road safety and a sense of security. Ideally, they shall complement already established public transport routes, enabling commuters to combine cycling and public transport if there is weather changes or a flat tire. Done right, the Copenhagen experience demonstrates that cycle superhighways help to make cycling the natural choice for everyday travel, even when it comes to longer distances.

“Next step is that the municipalities and the region hopefully will make a joint decision to investigate exact directions for the Super bike paths and form lane groups for further planning. The concept is universal and can be applied in other regions,” continues Olle Evenäs.