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Cityndex II - Soft Accessibility City Index – part II

Title: Cityndex II - Soft Accessibility City Index – part II

Principal investigator: Eduardo Natividade

Research team: João Manuel Coutinho Rodrigues, John Current

Dates start/end: 10-2016 / 03-2018

Synopsis

During the last decades, mobility has become an ever-increasing need. Transport is also an issue be- cause this sector is a major consumer of energy, responsible for about one-quarter of total energy con- sumed in the EU and even a large emitter of GHG emissions (nearly one-third of all emissions) factors which are nowadays hot topics in the political agenda.

With increasing concern about global warming, greenhouse gas emissions and rising fuel prices, non- motorized modes, such as bicycle are gaining importance as a viable mode in urban transportation worldwide and has been actively encouraged by the European Agenda for transport and sustainable mobility and by national and local policies, in several countries.

In fact, cycling is a promising way for mobility in an urban context due to their many benefits, compared with motorised transports (reduced carbon footprint, lower maintenance, health, social and infrastructur- al costs).

One of the main obstacles to increase the bicycle as a mode of transport are safety concerns due to in- teractions with motorised traffic. For uncongested traffic cities or areas, the simple and best option is to separate cyclists from motorists through exclusive bicycle priority lanes. However, for congested roads enforcing bicycle lanes may degenerate the network, making the idea very hard to sell both to the pub- lic and the traffic authorities.

The primary objective of this project is to create a multicriteria indicator that assesses the suitability of the existing urban network for cycling. And to develop a methodology which, from that index, helps the responsible entities to improve the cycling conditions of their urban network and select the best places for the creation of new bike lanes. By suitability, we mean non-subjective factors that characterise the suitability of a route for cycling, including safety, traffic volumes, traffic speeds, presence of bicycle lanes, whether the terrain is flat or hilly, etc.

The final objective is to incorporate this cyclical indicator into the Soft Accessibility City Index - Cityndex - developed in our previous project.