Cycling Quality Management and Evaluation in Europe
How can the quality and quantity of cycling be measured?
In many European regions, the role of cycling has increased significantly in recent years. More and more people use cycling for their everyday travel. How can efforts to promote cycling (input) and changes in travel behaviour (output) be measured so that, in local politics, the success of projects can be evaluated, and political arguments for the promotion of cycling can be backed by statistical data?
In recent years, a new concept of quality management has gained wide acceptance: Although it is possible to measure service quality in objective terms, the subjective impressions of users are decisive in determining satisfaction. Thus, evaluations are carried out among users in various service sectors, such as the transport sector. In this way, the perception users have of the existing cycling facilities can be determined. Moreover, in the systematic promotion of cycling, monitoring processes in which external experts quantify and evaluate developments in a certain area have gained importance.
Adequate monitoring and evaluation tools help establish detailed information about prevailing conditions as well as the progress that has been made in the promotion of cycling in a municipality or region. In particular against the backdrop of Germanys strained municipal budgets, the importance of methodologically sound and reliable data on the success of planning measures is increasing; such data enables limited resources to be used where they are most effective. It is absolutely essential to carry out a systematic evaluation of the measures taken hitherto in order to win policy-makers for the cause of cycling, to obtain external funding (for example at the European level) and to advertise achievements to the public. Moreover, sound statistical data of this kind underpins arguments for cycling-promotion measures to help convince the sceptics.
There's a broad demand for Germany's know-how in bicycle policy and infrastructural planning. The german bicycle portal contains a lot of resources: more than 4000 news, publications, research results and good practice examples. Internationally, the German language is a barrier to people who don't speak any German and planners and staff in Germany may easier learn from expertises from abroad, when they can get these information in German language. This knowledge transfer is what "Cycling Expertise Files" wants to achieve. Each second week we highlight an issue in our news feed. The published issues of "Cycling Expertise Files" can be found here: www.nationaler-radverkehrsplan.de/en/transferstelle