Monday 10 June 2013

Operngasse and Herrengasse Traffic Data and Radwegbenutungsbullshit.

I sat at Radlager Palazzo which is in the middle of Operngasse and counted traffic.  This is to provide a bit of background information for the Dutch Cycle Brunch.  This is not an accurate picture of the traffic it is just a random sample.

Friday 7.6.2013
16:00 - 16:30  (30 mins. of counting)
Not rush hour but quite busy time of a sunny day.

Bus: 4
Motorbikes: 33
Cars: 538
Bikes in the Bus / Taxi Lane 10
Bikes on the cycle path travelling South: 72
Bikes on the cycle path travelling North: 46
Total number of bikes: 128
To be honest I was very surprised by this.  I expected there to be no one cycling on the busy 3 lane road in the bus, taxi and bike lane but there were a surprisingly (to me) large number of people doing this.

I think it is fair to say that on this day at this time 1 in 7 cyclists chose the road (only counting North to South Traffic).  The use of the road here is thanks to the groundbreaking new relaxation of the Radwegebenutzungspflicht on this one street

Is this an example of a real change for cyclists that will help Vienna reach its target of 10% modal share for bikes by 2015?

Would the 1 in 7 cyclists cycle anyway?

Would new cyclists be tempted out of their cars to use the road rather than the cyclepath?

Does this improve the conditions and give lots more space to the majority of cyclists?

Does this reduce the traffic light wait time and improve the light synchronization for the majority of cyclists?

Lets look at the whole population in terms of 4 cyclist groups.

Vienna has 6.2% modal share for bikes.  So does this look like the 1% of the population (Strong and Fearless) advocating what they want and ignoring the 67%?  Are the enthused cyclists the other 7% on the cylepath?  How do we get a significant proportion of the "Interested but Concerned" 60% to choose a bike for transport?

Maybe we should copy the Dutch and make the bike a convenient, quick, safe and pleasant option? Or maybe we should listen to the 1% and scrap the cycle paths and share the road?

My view of the Radwegbenutungsflicht is that it is the biggest waste of energy and time to fight street for street for something that people who will cycle anyway feel they are entitled to after years of repression.  They maybe have a point but only 1% of the population cares.  The other 99% want to get from AtoB preferably with less conflict and congestion.  Surely it is time to  focus on the important stuff and design better roads and urban spaces that cater for the needs of the whole population?

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