The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), in partnership with MAPFRE Foundation, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and PTV Group, has launched Safer Cycling around the World, a report on the first major pilot of the CycleRAP model with cities in Europe, South America and North America participating. The report was launched at the UCI Mobility and Bike City Forum on 25 October 2023 in Bruges, Belgium.
During the pilot, the project team completed CycleRAP assessments totalling 246km in Madrid, Barcelona, Bogota, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and an additional 1,115 ‘spot’ locations in Sao Paulo. The project team worked with local partners in each of the cities to identify the target network, collect data, produce risk maps and suggest safety solutions. The project brought together a unique and diverse team of local and technical partners, such as Experience Fayetteville (US), Ciclocidade (BR), Factual Consulting (ES), the Secretaria de Movilidad de Bogotá (CO), the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Traffic Sciences (FPZ) (CR).
Reflecting on the existing cycling infrastructure standards is key to ensuring that new investments prioritize cycling safety. The CycleRAP results show that the highest risks are in on-road facilities, where conflict between vehicles and bicycles is the main contributor to high scores. Installation of light segregations, increasing the distance between cyclists and passing vehicles, and measures to ensure vehicles travel at safe speeds are some of the CycleRAP recommendations for the cities. The five cities are leading initiatives to transform cycling into a pleasant and safe experience, with plans to expand their cycling networks.
The aim of the project was to demonstrate the application of the traffic simulation tool and provide tangible examples of how cities can use the CycleRAP model to help improve the safety of their cycling networks. The report provides in-depth case studies which showcase examples of safe cycling infrastructure, data collection methods, risk mapping, evaluation of safety options and specific risk analysis.
CycleRAP is an evidence-based infrastructure risk evaluation model. It aims to reduce crashes and improve safety specifically for bicyclists and other light mobility users by identifying high risk locations without the need for having crash data available. The model uses data about the features of a road, street or path to evaluate the risk of crashes for bicyclists and light mobility users—irrespective of the type of facility and pinpointing and mapping where crashes are likely to occur, offering options to reduce this risk.
CycleRAP was launched globally in 2022 at the Velo-City Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia and in Latin America at the ITF Safer City Streets Network event in Guadalajara, Mexico. It has now been applied on approximately 1,000km of cycling facilities in 10 countries.
Cyclist safety is a major concern of cities around the globe that want to achieve greener, safer and more fair mobility. CycleRAP has been designed to help cities better address the safety of their street and path networks specifically for bicycling and other types of light mobility.
Let’s hear the Project sponsors:
“We are very satisfied for having participated in a fantastic initiative that contributes to cyclist safety, a major challenge among cities around the world. We believe that CycleRAP will reveal the infrastructure risks for cyclists and light mobility users, boost best practices to the world and help cities achieve greener, safer and fair mobility. It is been a pleasure to work together with such an unique and diverse team of local and technical partners that care about the use of the bicycle, a cheap, ecological and healthy means of transport that is unstoppable and that is transforming cities.”
Jesús Monclús, director of the Prevention and Road Safety at Fundación MAPFRE.
“Our objective is to get more people using bikes, and in order to achieve that we need to improve cycling infrastructure around the world. The UCI is delighted to partner with iRAP and promote the CycleRAP project, which is an easy, low-cost and fast method of evaluating the safety of road and cycling infrastructure. I congratulate iRAP for this great initiative that will help cities worldwide to better cater to their cycling populations. With the environmental, health and socio-economic challenges we are facing, cycling can play a powerful role in ensuring a sustainable future. ”
David Lappartient, UCI President.
“Bike lanes must be inviting places. We need bicycle infrastructure that makes people want to cycle, and that makes it clear through its design. Fear of road hazards discourages people from cycling. So safety goes hand in hand with sustainability, making it imperative to proactively build and maintain safe cycling infrastructure. Through our collaboration on CycleRAP, we’ve seen the immense potential of combining technology, data and expertise for a holistic assessment of road safety. Together with our traffic simulation tools, it enables the evaluation of different design options by predicting their impact on mobility behavior and road infrastructure capacity, while also identifying potential conflicts and testing different solutions to resolve them. A real game changer.“
Sofia Salek de Braun, PTV Group, Global Road Safety Ambassador.