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Mobility Measure

Cycle Transport Improvements

Based on results of the BYPAD audit realised in the city, Usti nad Labem has a target to improve conditions for cyclists in the city and the surrounding areas and to create suitable facilities for them. This includes two major goals. Firstly, to improve information about cycle transport for the local population by implementing a complex web portal for cyclists in Ústí nad Labem. Secondly, to link the existing cycling infrastructure in the area into the coherent cycle network in order to support increase of cyclists in the area.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Currently, Usti nad Labem has very little road space dedicated to cycling and very low amount of cyclists.

Within the CIVITAS Archimedes project, a BYPAD audit was performed in the city in 2010. The audit concluded that, although the elevation profile of the city is very hilly and rather challenging for cyclists and the cycling infrastructure has not been incorporated into the city's transport system, Usti nad Labem presents considerable potential for development of cycle transport. The Ústí region offers numerous points of interest for cyclists, the city is surrounded by nature trails and cycle routes and it is located between the two major cycle routes of international importance - the Elbe River Route and the Ore Mountains Route.

According to the BYPAD audit, cycle transport improvements in the city demand large efforts and financial resources if they are to be realised. It is therefore necessary to prioritise cycling actions in the city. However, some measures can be implemented without high personal and financial requirements and can be realised within the ordinary operation of the city government.

How did the measure progress?

A feasibility study of connecting the two existing major cycle routes of cross-regional importance in the vicinity of Ústí nad Labem (the Ore Mountains Route and the Elbe River Route) was conducted. This involved assessment of suitable location of the cycle link in the scenarios – through the existing cycle routes and through new cycle routes, which would have to be established. Both scenarios were compared in terms of financial resources, required modifications, position, accessibility, elevation, surface quality, etc.

The implementation plan was designed, proposing to utilise the existing cycle routes leading through the city as a first step, then to gradually construct new suitable cycle routes and redirect the link to this more convenient route. The implementation plan includes description of individual phases (the pre-investment, investment, operating and implementation phase) and calculation of costs, project time table, required actions and designation of responsibilities. It further includes assessment of future usage of the cycle link and a market analysis, impact on the environment and a cost-benefit analysis.

In addition to providing suitable facilities for cyclists, improvements were focused on provision of information on cycle transport in the area by launching a new web portal dedicated to cycling in the Usti region. The aim was to promote and support cycling in the area by increasing awareness about cycling opportunities.

The web portal has two basic concepts of map schemes: street maps and photo-orthographic maps. It includes the following features:

  • Detailed characteristics of individual cycle routes.
  • Safety issues in terms of traffic on the route, description of its surface, warning about narrow sections, steep hills and other safety risks - shown by warning marks on the map, critical points are presented with comments and pictures.
  • Quality of the cycling network according to suitability for in-line skating, road bikes, track bikes, mountain bikes or leading the bike on foot (over obstructions etc.) are shown in various colours on the map.
  • Videos from each section of the cycle route are shown in both directions. They are recorded by a camera attached to a bike which allows users to view the actual route. Videos are presented in a separate floating window, while the mark on the map indicates the current position on the corresponding cycle route. It is possible to choose the direction the route takes.
  • Technical equipment, such as cycle stands, rest areas and services with a corresponding photo gallery.
  • Interesting locations in the area - presented with a description text and pictures from the locality.
  • Links to other web sites.

Data for the cycle website are still being gathered and the provided information will be gradually improved and further updated as the environment for cycling in the city changes. To support safety of cyclists in the city, leaflets with basic safety rules for cyclists were produced in an attractive comic format with rhyming slogans easy to remember. For the purpose of measure evaluation, a mobility survey was performed with city residents.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

Although Usti nad Labem has a difficult landscape for cyclists and insufficient cycling facilities and services, the situation is slowly improving and the city is able to significantly increase number of local cyclists by improving its conditions for the cycle transport.

The cycle connection linking the two major cycle routes in the area through the city was designed in order to allow greater use of the existing infrastructure, support tourism, promote local points of interest and enable better utilisation of local services. Implementation of this connection would increase attractiveness of the city as a tourist destination and contribute to intensification and promotion of cycling in the area, primarily as a leisure activity and alternatively for commuting purposes. This fulfils objectives outlined in the Strategy for the Development of Ústí nad Labem for 2015 and the Strategy for Development of Tourism in the Usti Region for 2010-2015.

The total investment of the cycle link was calculated to amount to €960,156 (24 358 million CZK). The costs can be partially financed by an appropriate subsidy programme. The management and maintenance will be provided from the city´s own budget. It is anticipated that increased funding for maintenance and repair works of the new cycle infrastructure will not constitute significant burden in terms of resources that have already been allocated. Prior to its implementation, objectives must be sufficiently supported within strategy and planning of the city.

Implementation of the cycle link presents high economic efficiency of the investment. As a project supporting development of cycling, it generates no direct benefits but significant indirect socio-economic benefits resulting from increased length of stay of users in the economic impact area which further contributes to its significant financial efficiency.

Provision of a range of practical information about cycling in the area is delivered through an integrated web portal, which is gradually supplemented with up-to-date data. Citizens were asked to send their comments and feedback to determine where improvements can be made. The cycle web portal provides information about cycling opportunities, cycle services and areas of interest for tourists in the Usti region.

The city further focuses on cycle transport education and safety of cyclists through complementary measures. There are other measures proposed as part of the future transport plans within the city that will to improve cycling conditions, although this may not be the primary objective. These include implementation of designated lanes, calm zones, speed restricted (30km/h) zones and one way roads available for cyclists in both directions. The cycling infrastructure is intended for extension and interconnection to provide a coherent network. Realisation of cycling facilities and equipment is required.

The potential for the development of cycle transport in the city and its surroundings is relatively high. The goal of improvements is to establish cycling not only as a free time recreational activity, but also as an alternative, sustainable means of transport suitable for the city.

Basic Information

March 2013

Thematic Areas