A few years ago a new mobility product arose below the horizon of traffic: the cycle highway. In London they were called cycle superhighways, in Copenhagen they embraced the supercykelstier and the German refer to it as a Radschnellweg. It became clear the power of the bike has increasingly been recognized for long distance cycling as well.
The arrival of cycle highways has not been without struggle. For example, in the Netherlands, we have witnessed a minor identity crisis considering its name: fietssnelweg, snelfietsroute, snelle fietsroute, doorfietsroute. The mobility product is continuously adapting to the public it serves, fighting for its place in the mobility landscape. Our Dutch ‘orange glass’ results in impressive infrastructure but it also takes a while because of our ongoing search to find common ground with stakeholders. Our Belgian colleagues use a so-called ‘pink glass’: simply put the signs up indicating a cycle highway and it is a cycle highway. Ultimately, usage increases and investments will follow.
These different strategies and developments triggered a group of partners in North West Europe in 2016 to collaborate on the development of cycle highways, uniting to become the Interreg CHIPS project. Within three years we have got a grip on the planning process, developed tools to enhance planning, successfully agreed on design standards, collected and expanded wayfinding measures and improved cycle highway campaigns to encourage usage. All our findings have been combined to create the life cycle of a cycle highway which will be soon online.
On May 21st the CHIPS group will wrap up this partnership in Frankfurt where we will share the results and discuss the future of cycle highways. On the following day, the Cycle Highway Academy will be focused on selling and monitoring, where our colleague Babet Hendriks will present on selling the cycle highway by integrating them with other transport modes. Curious to hear about CHIPS’ results and the future plans? Sign up here!