Cyclists and Pedestrians on Promenades and Pedestrian Zones
Walking and cycling as active travel
Under the term 'active travel' (Nahmobilität = individual, non-motorised transport within a neighbourhood or community), the transport modes walking and cycling are currently receiving increasing attention. The emphasis is no longer on the absence of a motorised drive or the alleged slowness, but rather on the fact that walking and cycling help establish an intense relationship with the local surroundings, vitalise the public space and strengthen social cohesion in the neighbourhood. Moreover, they ensure low-cost mobility, especially for children and elderly people, and are prerequisites for a successful local public transport system. In addition, the associated physical activity offers health benefits and is emission-free.
Owing to the many commonalities, pedestrians and cyclists have similar requirements. Without a motor and fuel they are less inclined to take longer routes and require direct connections and networks that are as gapless as possible. Pedestrians and cyclists are also highly aware of the quality of the street space and environmental pollution. In addition, with respect to their desire for lively, diverse and traffic-calmed street environments, there are hardly any differences between the two types of road users. The provision of ample space, the feeling of not constantly being exposed to the risk of accidents and an attractive design are absolutely essential if pedestrian and cycling traffic are to thrive in a local community.
Until now, pedestrians and cyclists have often shared the same roadside facilities when faced with incompatibly fast motor traffic, for example on heavily trafficked through roads.
High proportions of pedestrian and cycling traffic are beneficial to cities, and, therefore, the promotion of cycling must not be carried out at the expense of pedestrians. Regardless of the existing differences, it is important to focus on the commonalities between walking and cycling. Shared use is likely to be successful provided that enough space is available, that implied priority for any means of transport is removed, and that the overall impression is clearly transmitted to cyclists that they are 'guests' on pedestrian spaces and thus have to adjust their cycling speed.
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