What about people in cycle network planning? Applying participative multicriteria GIS analysis in the case of the Athens metropolitan cycle network

Abstract: The bicycle is gaining ground as an inexpensive, fast, healthy, and enjoyable mode of transport, but the development of cycle infrastructures appears to be a necessary prerequisite for supporting further growth in cycling rates. Thus far, few studies have developed comprehensive methodologies for the prioritisation of cycling infrastructure investments, and the role of end users has been underestimated in this process. The unique relationship that cyclists develop with the bicycle itself, their co-cyclists, bicycle facilities, and the urban environment as a result of sensory, kinaesthetic, symbolic, or even political reasons can assist in designing cycle facilities that are more efficient and closer to fulfilling the needs and desires of users. We propose a comprehensive four-step methodology for cycle network planning, which both accounts for the city structure and the zones in which higher cycling demand is possible and uses participative multicriteria GIS processes to incorporate cyclists’ views with regard to choosing the cycle network segments. Our case study is Athens, Greece, where cycling facilities are few and heavily fragmented, although cycling demand has recently grown. This methodology may be useful for cities attempting to introduce and prioritise cycling infrastructures because it focuses on determining where cyclists would prefer to cycle to make such investments more successful in attracting users.

Keywords: Metropolitan cycle network planning, cycling infrastructure; participative multicriteria GIS analysis; cyclist's views; cycle route choice 

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