Digital planning data for a future-proof cycling infrastructure

The City of Münster (DE) designs bicycle network 2.0 with the help of the new RiDE platform

The expansion of cycling mobility is a key element of the mobility transition and user-oriented planning of cycling infrastructure is particularly relevant. Since the end of 2022, the data platform RiDE (Radverkehr in Deutschland - Cycling in Germany) has been providing German municipalities with the necessary data basis. The City of Münster also makes use of this data for the project "Fahrradnetz 2.0" (bicycle network 2.0).

The RiDE platform offers comprehensive digital cycling data for municipalities. The data originates from Climate Alliance's CITY CYCLING campaign and is therefore available to all participating municipalities (in Germany). As part of the campaign, the cycling journeys of the participants are tracked via the CITY CYCLING app. The RiDE platform evaluates this information and prepares the data visually. This allows municipal planners to see, for example, how smoothly cycling flows, which routes are particularly busy and how long the waiting times at traffic lights are. The platform was developed jointly by scientists from the Technical University of Dresden, flow.d GmbH and Climate Alliance.

The data available on the RiDE platform provides an overview of the cycling activity of a municipality. The City of Münster acknowledged the potential of such information immediately right after its first CITY CYCLING campaign. "The City of Münster participated in the CITY CYCLING campaign for the first time in 2020. From the very beginning, the aspect of digital cycling data [...] was an important part of the campaign for us," comments Malte Konrad, Cycling Office of the City of Münster. "It is important for us that these data sets appropriately reflect the cross-section of the population, as is the case with CITY CYCLING", added Malte Konrad. For Münster, information on cycling volumes as well as average speeds is particularly relevant for argumentation, prioritisation and evaluation purposes. Based on this data, the potential for improvement of the urban infrastructure quickly becomes clear.

"Smartphone-generated data was used for the first time for the bicycle network 2.0 project," explains Malte Konrad, "together with other data sources, including a specially conducted tracking campaign, the CITY CYCLING data made available via the RiDE platform was incorporated into the development of the bicycle network 2.0" The aim is to expand the cycling infrastructure in a convenient and supply-oriented way. With the information from the RiDE platform, the City of Münster can also specifically examine cycling axes and derive appropriate action measures. "At the same time, we will soon be expanding the ten permanently installed cycling counting stations by a further 13 locations, which will provide us with daily updated data on cycling activity," explains Malte Konrad.

The City of Münster is convinced of the importance of cycling data and will increasingly rely on it in the future. The RiDE platform meets this need and can simplify data-based municipal cycling infrastructure planning in the future. In order to reflect the needs of municipalities of all sizes even more precisely, the platform is constantly being further developed, currently via the development project "MoveOn", which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport.

This year, interested municipalities once again have the chance to access the digital cycling data themselves. From 15 March, municipalities can register for this year's CITY CYCLING campaign, choose a campaign period of three weeks between May and September and collect cycling kilometres together with local politicians and citizens. After the campaign, the free cycling data will be available to all participants from Germany until 2024.

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written February 2023