Challenge / Goal
During the winter months, cycling in Turku drops significantly. It only reaches about 20-25% of the cycling that is done during the summer months. Increasing winter cycling rates through better maintenance of cycling routes/paths, combined with information campaigns offers good potential for improving the modal split.
The aim of this measure is to increase the year-round flows of cycling and walking by making the available infrastructure easier, safer and more comfortable to use. For this measure, winter maintenance methods were piloted and a renewal plan for infrastructure improvements drafted.
The improvements to infrastructure-based along the pilot cycling route require some rerouting of cyclists and pedestrians. Different safety measures for bicycle and pedestrian routes located along, or near, construction sites have been implemented. This measure also includes constant monitoring of the number of cyclists and pedestrians in the city, to monitor whether the measure achieves its objectives. For this reason, a ‘cycling barometer’ has also been developed for accurate measurements.
During the first year of the pilot phase, the following activities were undertaken:
- A tender process to contract the chosen winter maintenance technique (sweep-salting) of the selected pilot route during winter.
- An information campaign with signposts on streets; news, media coverage and events about cycling in winter to help raise awareness about the issue and motivate people to not put their bikes away in winter.
- Collection of experiences of using the pilot route from members of the public recruited as ‘feedback providers’, the local cycling association, and through general city feedback, which will be used to improve the measure in the coming years.
- Friction measurement for constant monitoring of the winter route to control that conditions continue to stay safe for cycling and to monitor how well the measure works.
- Analysis of accidents where pedestrians and cyclists are involved, focusing on the winter months. This will enable a better understanding of the impact of winter maintenance and help improve approaches for its deployment.
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