Challenge 5: Bicycle as Urban Transport

One of the alternative modes of mobility that has a high potential in Lviv, due to the relative compactness of the city, is a bicycle. Presently, a bicycle is perceived as the means for leisure activities rather than as a convenient and fast mobility type. Some other modes of transport that are getting to be increasingly more popular include the electric scooters, gyroscooters, and other individual mobility devices that require the cycling infrastructure for usage.

 

Many cities in the world focus largely in their transport strategies on the development of cycling. It is not without reason. Bicycle is considered to be the most efficient mode of transport in the city for trips under five kilometers. It is a proven fact that riding a bicycle improves health condition and well-being, it does not produce any hazardous emissions, it needs a little space, it fosters social interaction and it is economically beneficial for cities. In Lviv, bicycles also have high chances to become a popular mode of transport and pastime.

An important stage in the development of cycling in Lviv was the introduction of public bicycle rental by Nextbike company. As of 2019, 24 rental stations were operating. Since 2017, no new rental stations have been added in Lviv despite the fact that the bicycle rental keeps growing. Bicycle rental allows you to ride a bicycle and not be concerned about its repairs and possible theft. Since 2018, the Nextbike clients who buy season passes also additionally receive the electric transport pass. However, due to the insufficient number of rental stations, the Nextbike rental is interesting only for a limited number of citizens.

Trends from the recent years show the growing spread of individual electric mobility devices, such as electric scooters, gyroscooters, electric mono-wheels, etc. Cycling infrastructure is most adaptable for their usage. The city shall be prepared for the appearance of the rental  electric scooters market. Such services are already overflowing in many cities in the world. Specifically, charging stations are going to be in high demand.

Objective 5. To make a bicycle an attractive mode of transport for most citizens

5.1. Possibility to safely and comfortably ride a bicycle along all streets in Lviv.

Not every street requires a separate cycling infrastructure but each street shall be comfortable, safe, and understandable for cycling. After all, the starting point and the final destination of the trip may be located at any street.

5.2. Network of fast cycling routes that connect all parts of Lviv.

In peak hours, intensity of cycling increases (as it is becoming a sound alternative in terms of the trip duration). However, the risk related to the interaction with other road users increases, too. Safe and fast-moving cycling routes are designed for big amounts of cyclists. They provide safety and comfort of rides. At the same time, they lessen the load on public transport and help to decrease the number of cars.

5.3. Extensive network of reliable parking and storage for bicycles (near home, near work, in public spaces).

Restraining factor for taking the bicycle is the lack of possibilities for safe storage near the destination. There needs to be more encouragement for developers, for condominiums, for management companies, businesses and other organizations to arrange due conditions for safe bicycle storage. In response, the city shall provide funding for organization of parking lots near municipal institutions, transport junctions, points of attraction, and in the streets.

5.4. Flexible season passes for bicycle rental, convenient combination with public transport.

More people could join cycling if it could be combined with other mobility types. Bicycles or the personal mobility devices are perfect to tackle the last mile. Combining bicycle rental with the car parkings or public transport hubs increases the number of users.

5.5. Promoting bicycle as a mode of transport.

Bicycling is often considered to be one of the pastime activities. However, this type of use has nothing to do with mobility. SUMP interprets a bicycle as an alternative to public transport and cars.

5.6. Training and developing cycling skills from childhood.

Skills acquired in childhood and the teenage years stay throughout the lifetime. The earlier you start using a bicycle the better and safer you can ride.

Demonstration measures:

  1. To complete construction of an integral cycling network in Lviv.
  2. To develop the network of bicycle parkings at park-and-ride hubs.
  3. To provide for priority snow cleaning on the bicycle paths.
  4. To approve the municipal standard for   cycling infrastructure construction.

Catalogue of activities

To update and supplement the Lviv Concept for  Cycling Infrastructure Development.

The Concept for the Development of Cycling Infrastructure was developed for 2010–2020. The concept needs to be summarized, reviewed, and extended for the next decade. To assess the efficiency of activities, it is also important to regularly collect the data on cycling dynamics in Lviv.

To provide for priority snow cleaning on cycling and walking paths.

Snow cleaning on the cycling and walking paths cannot be performed on the residual basis, after cleaning the roadway. Snow piles cannot narrow the transit zone of sidewalks to the smaller size than allowed (2.25 m for arterial streets). Cycling infrastructure shall be fit for use also in the winter time. Access ways to pedestrian crossings and cycling crossings as sites of high injury risk in winter time shall be cleaned as a priority. It is important to prevent any puddles therein, or the spots uncleaned due to ice-crusted ground.

Adopt the municipal standard for  cycling infrastructure construction.

Cycling infrastructure is created as part of various projects, in different ways, and with different approaches. Some methods proved to be efficient enough, others are non-functional. Some streets are arranged with absolutely no account for cycling needs. The construction standards for different street types are intended to normalize this process.

To complete the construction of the integral cycling infrastructure network in Lviv.

The city already has about 100 km of cycling infrastructure available but it has not yet developed into integral cycling routes. It is important to create the rapid cycling connections on major axes in Lviv, and to regularly upgrade the road marking on bicycle paths and bicycle lanes to prevent conflict with other road users.

To create the network of bicycle storage stations.

A restraining factor for the development of cycling mobility in Lviv is still the lack of accessible and safe bicycle storage. 

To overcome this, the following actions need to be taken:

  • to develop the program for installing bicycle garages as co-funded by the citizens;
  • to introduce a mandatory requirement to arrange bicycle parking and storage places in new construction projects. The places could operate on the paid basis and  rented by residents, in order to get the developers interested;
  • to facilitate the expansion of the public sharing network for bicycles and electric scooters.

Photos by: Volodymyr Karaim (1, 3), Oleksandr Shutyuk (2, 4)

Read the full version of the chapter “Challenge 5: Bicycle as Urban Transport” in the Lviv Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan: