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Comprehensive report on bicycle pictograms on the carriageway

Recommendations for the marking of pictograms

Fahrradpiktogramm auf der Fahrbahn
Fahrradpiktogramm auf der Fahrbahn © SVPT, Bergische Universität Wuppertal (2019)

The Traffic Centre at the University of Wuppertal and the Chair of Diagnostics and Intervention at the Technical University of Dresden have investigated the effect of pictograms and signs on the knowledge of rules, attitudes and behaviour of road users as well as on the occurrence of accidents in Germany. The first comprehensive findings on the measures, which have not yet been investigated in Germany, have now been published in a report based on video and accident analyses as well as surveys.

The research project "Cycling in cramped conditions - the effect of pictograms and signs on cycling behaviour and road safety", funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) with funds of the National Cycling Plan 2020, was carried out in cooperation between the Transport Centre of the University of Wuppertal and the Department of Diagnostics and Intervention of the Technical University of Dresden and dealt with the effect of signs on the compulsory use of cycle paths and cycling symbols on the road.

Such measures have recently been implemented in several German cities, especially in connection with the removal of the obligation to use existing cycle paths. Furthermore, they are applied in road spaces where rule-compliant cycling facilities would be necessary according to the regulations, but cannot be implemented due to insufficient dimensions.

The use of signage and/or the marking of the bicycle pictogram aims to support the existing guidance form "mixed traffic", to make cycling safer, especially in previously accident-prone situations, and to improve the traffic climate. The presence and rights of cyclists are to be made clear, with the emphasis on mutual cooperation. However, the current StVO regulations does not provide for cycling symbols in particular.

Since there have not yet been any comprehensive findings and implementation recommendations on such measures, the study investigated the effect of such markings and information signs or corresponding combinations. With the help of camera observations and surveys of road users, it was investigated to what extent these measures are perceived by road users, how they are understood, to what extent a change or adaptation of the driving behaviour of cyclists and car drivers takes place and whether improvements in road safety can be determined.

The project was thus able to contribute to researching the framework conditions under which these measures to support mixed traffic make sense, how they should be designed and how implementation and acceptance can be supported through public relations work.

The aim was to gain knowledge about these measures to support mixed traffic in order to derive practical tips for the implementation of such measures (including areas of application and accompanying public relations work) for municipalities. The findings of the project have now been published in a scientific report.