Main Road for Bicycling Could Triple the number of Travels

Stikkord: Areal og transport, sykkel- og gangveier, Sandnes

With the capacity provided by the planned-for main road for bicycles in Sandnes, one out of five journeys from Forus to Lura could go by bicycle, three times today’s share.

With the capacity provided by the planned-for main road for bicycles in Sandnes, one out of five journeys from Forus to Lura could go by bicycle, three times today’s share.

Over the last decade, traffic has increased by 32 per cent in the county of Rogaland. Cars make up 25 per cent of this increase. Calculations show that a main road for bicycling in Nord-Jæren could persuade many motorists to use their bicycles in stead, possibly making 20 per cent of work journeys from Forus to Lura to go by bike. This would more than triple today’s share of 6 per cent.

Figures also indicate that around 17 per cent of bicyclists to Stavanger city centre and 10 per cent of workers in Sandnes would use the bicycle main road. Sandnes is a rapidly expanding urban area and before long, having a southward main road for bicyclists will be more urgent than one to the north.

The scheduled bicycle main road is in line with the Environmental Plan for Sandnes 2007–2020 and a pre-eminent case of good transport planning to achieve the goals of Cities for the Future.

A Region in Growth

Nord-Jæren is a region characterised by population growth and a flourishing business sector. With 20 000 workplaces, Forus and Lura Nord are located strategically between Sandnes, Sola and Stavanger. Here, leading Norwegian oil companies, entrepreneur and production companies are located, together with computer companies and commerce and service businesses.

In a business-as-usual-scenario for future development in this area it is presupposed that workplaces will double, to approximately 40 000 by 2040. Today the area is easily accessible by car, whereas public transport services are not satisfactory and walking and bicycling roads are scarcely used.

Increased Traffic

As a result, traffic conditions have worsened, especially during morning and afternoon rush hours. Traffic has increased by 32 per cent in Rogaland over the last decade. Cars make up 25 up the growth. The main road between Sandnes and Stavanger, E39, has seen the biggest increase, up to 4 per cent a year between 2003 and 2007. From January to June 2008 traffic went up 4,3 per cent.

Taking Bicycling Seriously

It is assumed that he main road for bicycles will facilitate safe and efficient travelling, enabling cyclists to keep a high average speed. The number of intersections will be kept at a minimum and preferably signposted.

The road will be 4,5 metres wide, whereof 4,0 metres are tarmacked; in addition, a 0,25 metres of shoulder on each side is proposed. This standard would ensure safety when passing or meeting other bicyclists without reducing speed.

It is emphasized that pedestrians and car traffic should be kept separate from the bicycle main road. On stretches shared with pedestrians, sidewalks will be provided

The road profile will be relatively flat. Maximum gradient will follow recommendations in the Bikers Handbook. It is important to reduce the number of system changes. Where and how the road is connected to the remaining bicycle road network, must be carefully planned.

A lot of Users

The bicycling main road provides an attractive service not only to those working in Forus, but for the general public as well. This includes 8000 students in the University of Stavanger and students in upper secondary education, not to mention the large group of leisure bicyclists.

It should be added that increased bicyclist ratio greatly affects health conditions in the population. Bicycling could prevent and reduce the risk of several diseases.

Estimates

To estimate how many bicyclists will actually use the planned-for main road, data on residencies and working places have been taken into account.

The amount of traffic and travellers’ preferences, are estimated by using transport surveys. It should be noted that the conditions applied in the modelling are approximate. Only work journeys have been estimated, but the bicycle main road will be available for other travels. Accordingly, the potential for the bicycle main is probably much greater than indicated by the present survey.