Wednesday 14 July 2010

Car on the cycle path

After Friesland, now the province of Brabant is testing the quality of their cycle route network. They are using an instrumented car to drive along the regional cycle paths of the 21 councils in the Eindhoven region.

The survey will record the types of cycle facility (separate cycle path, bicycle street, parallel facility, cycle lane or other), and also such things as the type quality of the surface and the width.

Factors such as how obvious it is where cyclists belong, whether crossings give cyclists priority, priority at traffic lights and the speed of other traffic at crossings will also be recorded.

Also the region will gain an insight into the social safety for cyclists and the quality of directional signage.

GPS is being used to position photos of all cycling facilities on a map.

The total cost of this investigation is around €30000.

This type of work is needed periodically because when there are thousands of kilometres of cycling facility it's not easy to keep track of exactly what there is, where it is, or what quality it is. A couple of years later it was Drenthe's turn to analyze its cycle-paths in the same manner.


Sirius7dk said...

Seems a bit ironic to use a car for that job, but I guess that the reason is that the electronic equipment cannot fit a bike?

The only other reason to use a car instead of a bike would be speed, but I doubt that the car will travel at any significant speed if it is to measure the width and type of path at the same time.

Rasmus Jensen

christhebull said...

It would be worth doing this in the UK to record how pathetic our infrastructure is, but most of our cycle paths have railings and other street furniture which is a PITA to ride past, let alone drive a car around.

David Hembrow said...

Sirius7dk: It's the first thought that occurred to me. There are also instrumented bikes used for surveys.

It's a long project, taking a lot of time. Maybe one consideration is that the work can be done even in the middle of winter, spending all day driving extremely slowly, but with civilized conditions for the driver vs. being out in the weather.

Christhebull: The railings, motorbike gates and other obstructions on British paths really have to go. Apart from making surveys like this difficult, they also make it difficult to maintain the paths.

Frits B said...

I suppose there are at last 2 people in the car, the driver and the one taking notes and operating the various equipment. Apart from that, electronic stuff doesn't like rain, dust and sunshine. So yes, it's only logical to use a car, a reasonably narrow one (Fiat Sedici as far as I can see) to fit the cycle path.

My taxpayer's gut says they're overdoing things, but they will no doubt have their reasons.

Anonymous said...

I have to say it would have been better for the authorities to show a velomobile kitted out with a camera and a GPS.
One of the critisms against the highway teams in the UK is that they don't appear to see anything except through a car windscreen. Does the money spent on this project come from the cycling budget? Can't help but laugh if even a small part is being spent on a car!
Cheers, Mark, Bristol UK.

anna said...

Wow, that's totally not the kind of cars I see on our bike lanes (illegally parked ones). Good :).