Improvements for cycling can raise the visibility of this mode of transport, its infrastructure, the convenience to get around the city and how it helps to reduce the impact of private traffic. Better cycling conditions can also create a new mobility culture where alternative modes of transport become increasingly significant. The city of Monza will implement improvements to cycling facilities to encourage the use of the bicycle.
Implementing sustainable mobility
Monza has invested in the last five years in creating a network for cyclists. This network is not yet fully interconnected, but the number of cyclists has been increasing, leading to greater transport efficiency and increasing public health.
This measure objectives are to:
- Encourage the use of the bicycle as a form of transport;
- Raise the visibility of cycling, its infrastructure, convenience and use within the city;
- Implement improvements to cycle facilities: such as new cycle routes with bicycle parking facilities and related services (eg. rental, repairs & maintenance), especially at key interchange nodes such as the railway stations and in the centre of the city; and
- Promote and support the new facilities by a devoted section on the Municipality website.
A study to identify suitable measures regarding implementing cycling mobility has been undertaken and completed. More specifically, as a result of the study, Monza has been considered suitable to implement a bike sharing scheme. For this reason, a grant to Regione Lombardia has been obtained, and bike sharing will be implemented, although this will not be done during the lifetime of the ARCHIMEDES project. Nevertheless, this achievement can be seen as an outcome of the ARCHIMEDES project.
The bike plan derived from the study has been approved by the city, as well as a document containing constructing criteria for cycling routes, which will serve as a guideline for future extensions of the cycling network.
The following actions were accomplished:
- extension of a cycling route by 800 metres and creation of two new cycling connections;
- installation of a camcorder for videosurveillance of the cycle parking in the railway station;
- revamp of a cycling walkway in the city centre
- organization of events with local stakeholders and cyclists’ associations to encourage the use of bicycle.
- During ARCHIMEDES lifetime, during UNESCO Week 2010, European Mobility Week 2010 and 2011, the municipality has organised various events together with local stakeholders and cyclist associations to encourage the use of the bicycle. These included one-day workshops on bike repair and maintenance for regular bike riders. For the entire day, mechanics of the +bc association gave tips and explained basic techniques bike lovers may need to know to fix their bikes, save money and have fun.
- Key result 1 - The goal to increase the number of cyclists in the city has been fully achieved, since from a total number of 3345 cyclists counted during 2010 census, the number of 6568 cyclist in 2012 has been reached (+ 96,35%, which means that the number of cyclist has almost doubled in two years).
- Key result 2 - Awareness of needs to improve cycling conditions is very high, since people are very aware of actions to be accomplished; on the other hand, only part of actions taken by comune of Monza are known to surveyed people, and this shows that there is still much to do to communicate interventions in order to enforce knowledge of actions between citizens.
- Key result 3 - All proposed actions for cycling improvement have been welcomed by surveyed people, the most interesting being “Bike parking areas at railway station or bus stops” and “More bicycle paths” (90% of preference). If those actions were realized, many people would use bicycle more, mainly during free time and to reach bus stops.
As far as the process of implementing this measure is concerned, important drivers are stakeholders’ involvement and financial support coming from the opportunity to obtain a grant to implement a bike sharing scheme in Monza. On the other hand difficulties in achieving the necessary authorizations to install ramps in the railway station and economic crisis which did not allow Comune of Monza to invest its share in bike sharing project, delayed the implementation of the measure.
Fortunately, the opportunity to invest some extra revenues, although included in Streets and Infrastructures Department section of the city budget, together with the political support made it possible to implement actions in favour of cycling mobility.
The development of the Bikeplan has proved strategic in order to approach the theme of cycling improvements in a systemic way, especially in shortage times, when unexpected funds appear to implement a step by step programme of works. Moreover, a strict relationship with stakeholders is important to identify priorities and needs in order to plan interventions according to the real requests of citizens,