Promoting cycling by improving social safety
When it comes to night cycling the social safety of a route is determined by the weakest link, even if that link is only a short jaunt through a dark tunnel on an otherwise well-lit and popular route. In Northern communities, like the Dutch Municipality of Zoetermeer, light is in short supply for half the year and improving social safety is one way of facilitating cycling even during the short days of winter. Zoetermeer prioritized this issue in their 2014 Bike Plan and hired Mobycon to assess the social safety of their bicycle network at night.
Mobycon is experienced in consulting on social safety for cyclists having completed similar assessments in the Dutch cities of Zwolle and Rotterdam. We have also worked with the Technical University of Delft to develop a methodology for creating safer station areas. In our experience, fieldwork is important to this type of project and especially the researchers themselves. For this project, we determined that both male and female perspectives are needed.
The project will involve traveling the bicycle network at night and rating different factors such as lighting, openness of the route and amount of traffic. Evaluating the criteria using the perspective of male and female researchers will allow us to identify problem areas and what these areas lack so we can make suggestions for improvement.
The dark months of winter are closer than most of us care to imagine, we’re looking forward to shining a light on the important issue of social safety through this project. Check back here for updates on this project, and for specific questions, contact Alex Roedoe.
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