Does the concept of cycle highways only work between large cities at an interregional level? Or can fast cycle routes also be used in rural areas as an effective means of changing the modal split? In partnership with a design agency, PTV Transport Consult dealt with these questions.
The idea of building a cycle highway in the western Münsterland region originated from an action plan promoting local mobility in North Rhine-Westphalia by means of a contest. Here, the task was to further investigate five fast cycle routes.
First, PTV had to carry out a potential analysis. In contrast to many other potential analyses conducted by PTV, this analysis was based on a macroscopic transport model using PTV Visum. For this purpose, existing transport models were combined, and a new network model was supplemented by the cycle network and the planned cycle highway. It was then possible to determine the effects of the implemented cycle highway on the choice of transport modes and routes.
Different approaches - similar potentials
Since this approach was carried out here for the first time, the PTV experts decided to have the approach verified by Dutch urban mobility experts. For quite some time now, they have also been using a model-based potential analysis approach, which considers travel time savings compared to motorised private transport. Despite different approaches, very similar potentials could be determined for the respective cycle highway. The identified potentials are significantly higher than the minimum requirements for fast cycle routes. The transport planners therefore regard the selected model-based potential analysis as well as the feasibility of a cycle highway in rural areas as prototypes.
Modified cost-benefit-analysis (CBA)
As a further measure, we conducted a modified cost-benefit-analysis based on the procedures commonly used for infrastructure projects in Germany (e.g. when planning federal transport routes or evaluating public transport-related measures). The approach used here is based on a so-called ‘NKA-Rad’ assessment approach (CBA Cycling) developed by PTV, among others. The shift effects in terms of trips by cars can thus also be used to compare other measures and infrastructure projects.
Finally, the results were presented to more than ten political committees and construction phases were defined.
The first construction phase was planned in 2018 and is to be completed in the near future.