Riding through the winter
How can cycling be facilitated in icy conditions? This is the question that was asked by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and Fietsberaad, a Dutch organisation specialising in the dissemination of knowledge about bicycle policy. Mobycon consultants created a pilot project studying the bicycle network in the Dutch City of Gouda to begin exploring winter maintenance issues.
Findings indicate that a specific plan for clearing snow from the bicycle network must be developed and adhered to – just as with a car network – if winter cycling is to be encouraged. Another finding of this study is that the roadbed beneath bicycle infrastructure is shallower than that below roads for cars. Because of the shallower bed, bicycle infrastructure becomes icy more quickly and requires treatment at temperatures where it is unnecessary on roads for cars. Although progress has been made in the last 20 years, the study found there is still inequity between the treatment of infrastructure for bikes versus infrastructure for cars. The full report is available (in Dutch) on the website of Fietsberaad.
For communities interested in facilitating more winter cycling, Mobycon is able to provide advice and studies to develop policies and plans for winter maintenance. Contact Alex Roedoe for questions or more information.