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Survey on bicycle friendliness in cities

ADFC Bicycle Climate Test 2018/2019

ADFC-Fahrradklima-Test 2018
ADFC-Fahrradklima-Test 2018 © ADFC

Systematic promotion of cycling in a city requires a data basis with which strengths and weaknesses in the cycling system can be identified and strategies and concepts developed. However, suitable data on cycle traffic are usually rare, outdated or not comparable. Only very large cities conduct periodic household surveys and cycling counts. It will be even more difficult to obtain reliable information, for example on the subjective safety of cyclists or on sufficient advertising for cycling.

The concept of the ADFC bicycle climate test fills this gap. All over Germany, cyclists were asked to assess their city's bicycle friendliness by means of questionnaires. They fulfil the function of everyday experts who know the strengths and weaknesses of the bicycle traffic system from their everyday experience. The ADFC, with a large number of volunteers working on site, makes it possible for the survey to have an enormously broad impact. At the same time, the climate test serves as a campaign tool that sensitises citizens to the concerns of cycling, opens up participation opportunities for them and presents outstanding cities and exemplary measures to the public by presenting the results as city rankings. Since a uniform methodology is applied in all participating cities at the same time, the evaluation of a city can be compared very well with the results of cities with similar numbers of inhabitants, equipment, etc. and thus the exchange of experience and adoption of good examples can be stimulated.

The ADFC Cycling Climate Test is one of the largest surveys about cycling worldwide and was conducted by the ADFC since 1988. Further surveys were carried out in 2001, 2003 and 2005. Since 2012 the survey on cycling in German cities is been conducted every two years between September and November. Since 2018 participating cities are divided into six categories: below 20.000 inhabitants, 20.000 – 50.000 inhabitants, 50.000 - 10.000 inhabitants, 100.000 - 200.000 inhabitants, 200 – 500.000 inhabitants and above 500.000 inhabitants. In order to improve the quality of the ADFC bicycle climate test and to adapt it to current conditions, it was necessary to revise and adapt the methodology in advance of the 2018 bicycle climate test.

The aim of the project is to carry out the ADFC Bicycle Climate Test 2018 on the basis of the recommendations and proposed solutions developed during the evaluation and preparation of the survey methodology. The following elements are essential:

  • Content and layout of the new questionnaire as an online and print version, the latter being mainly used for public relations work and only intended to have a small share of the data input.
  • Extensive advertising measures to attract participants, which are linked to each other via a newly developed logo (key visual). In addition to the local activities of the ADFC activists and other actors, this applies in particular to the central provision of flyers, posters, Internet banners and various sample texts.
  • Press and public relations work including social media at federal and state level as well as locally.
  • A separate website as a starting point for the survey as well as for a clear presentation of the survey results.
  • Survey implementation and data processing by an external institute.
  • Evaluation of the survey and presentation as ranking for six city size classes (<20,000, 20,000- 50,000, 50,000-100,000, 100,000-200,000, 200,000-500,000, > 500,000 inhabitants) and for each federal state.
  • Closing event with honours for the winning cities in the categories of top performer (best overall result) and catch-up (best development since 2016) in spring 2019. In addition, the awarding of prizes for winning cities in the family friendliness thematic block is planned.
  • Regional presentations of results.


Governmental funds
Private funds (without sponsoring or donations)
241 029 €

The project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) with funds for the implementation of the National Cycling Plan 2020.



A process evaluation by interviewing the experts involved was carried out after the ADFC Bicycle Climate Test.

Project manager / parties involved

Project management: 

Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club ADFC

Project term

The project is estimated as on-going without a special end date: 
On-going since: 
February 2018
Completed on: 
August 2019

Public relation and documents


Ansprechpartner auf Projektebene: 

Svenja Golombek
Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club ADFC
Mohrenstr. 69, 10117 Berlin
Telefon: +49 30 2091498-61
Telefax: +49 30 209149855

Date (Text as of…)
18. September 2019
Svenja Golombek und Thomas Böhmer, Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club, Bundesgeschäftsstelle Berlin
NRVP action fields