Cycling – forming early transport habits

Lasse Mathiesen | 07 Nov 2014 | Comments

After having read Chris Boardman’s viewpoint in BBC’s News Magazine, I think it’s more of a wakeup call to the politicians to invest in cycling and ensure larger funding to encourage more to cycle in the future, than a specific criticism of the infrastructure design near Chris Boardman’s home.

But sure, Chris Boardman is right that in the process of getting more people to cycle it is essential to make them feel safe. That goes for people of all ages. A major factor in making people feel safe in the urban public spaces is the infrastructure design.

First of all, it’s important to make comprehensive coherent networks of a cycling infrastructure, as just a single unsafe spot on the route would be enough to prevent parents from letting their children ride to and from school. Besides, it’s crucial to make the cycle infrastructure feel safe for the cyclists through creating protected cycle tracks, minimising the stretches with two-way cycleways, make the cycle tracks wide, creating safe intersections for cyclists etc.

It’s a good idea to focus on the children and their safe route to schools. In Denmark we have many projects on ensuring safe roads near schools, as it’s very important to make children cycle to school because it’s in childhood that our future transport habits and level of activity is founded.