Wayfinding for cycle highways: Assessing e-bike users’ experiences with wayfinding along a cycle highway in the Netherlands.

D van Lierop, Judith Soemers, Lisette Hoeke, G Liu, Z Chen, D Ettema, Joost de Kruijf

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Abstract

In many regions, governments are motivating increased bicycle ridership by designing new and improving existing bicycle infrastructure. Cycle highways are an effective and cost-efficient type of bicycle-specific infrastructure that are designed to provide a functional connection between places where people work, go to school and live. One important element of developing high quality cycle highways is the development of an effective wayfinding system which allows current, potential, and new users to clearly identify and navigate a bicycle network. The wayfinding design standards used for conventional bicycle infrastructure may not be compatible for cycle highways, which encourage cyclists to travel at relatively higher speeds. This may warrant introducing specific wayfinding signage compatible for this new type of bicycle infrastructure. This study uses qualitative analysis including field observations, ride-along videos, and semi-structured interviews, to assess electrically assisted pedal bicycle (e-bike) users' opinions and experiences with wayfinding signage along a pilot cycle highway route located between Tilburg and Waalwijk in the Netherlands. In the summer of 2018, base-line observations and interviews were administered with twelve e-bike users who were unfamiliar with the route to assess their experiences with conventional signage for cyclists before changes were made to the wayfinding system. Follow-up observations were held in the fall, after the installation of two new pilot wayfinding systems that were specifically designed to accommodate cycle highway users. Initial findings suggest that the changes made to the location, size and clarity of the signage improve cyclists' overall experiences, and that cyclists' perceptions of the built environment are important. Specifically, it became easier for users to navigate the route, their overall travel related stress decreased, and several participants perceived shorter travel times. Policy makers and transportation planners are likely to be interested in the results of this study as they reveal how specific improvements to wayfinding along cycle highways not only help improve navigation, but also positively influence cyclists' overall comfort and stress.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Volume88
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Cycle highways
  • Cycle-along
  • E-bikes
  • Semi-structured interviews
  • Sustainable travel
  • Wayfinding

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