About The Life Cycle Highway explained

As the CHIPS project advanced, we started realising that there are four (more or less) clearly separated stages in the life of a cycle highway. The structure of this manual follows the same four-stage approach, that we call the Lifecycle of Cycle Highways, composed of the following stages:

  1. Plan
  2. Design and Build
  3. Sell
  4. Evaluate

The first stage Plan involves planning the cycle highway where the focus is on the potential use of the new infrastructure and the impact for the region. To determine the right location and itinerary, a calculation of the expected use is needed.

This stage also takes into account the socio-economic and demographic evolution of the area, in order to plan a future-proof cycle highway. The Virtual Planning Tool is one of the useful tools of this stage.

In the second stage Design and Build we dive into the actual design of a cycle highway. The challenge is to design the best suitable cycle highway for that specific location.

All the different criteria that make a mature cycle highway are identified and described in detail, such as attractiveness, wayfinding, size and directness. Guidelines and best practices for general cycling infrastructure and facilities can be used for this stage.

The third stage Sell focuses on the promotion of a cycle highway to its final users. Communication and campaigns are often needed to stimulate (new) cyclists to use the cycle highway. Commuters are generally the main target group.
The engagement of employers is key to reach the commuters and create a modal shift from car to (e)-bike. In this chapter we also report ten case studies to illustrate practically how this can be achieved. How do you brand and sell the cycle highway?

Finally, in the stage Evaluate, the use of the cycle highway is monitored and assessed to obtain insights in the actual effects of the development. The methodology we developed helps you answer some of the most important questions related to cycle highways use:

  • Are people using the new cycle infrastructure?
  • How long do commuters cycle, and how often?
  • What kind of people choose to use this type of infrastructure?
  • How effective is it to reduce congestion?

There are several methods to collect data about the use of the infrastructure. By monitoring the usage, also the impact on CO2 emissions can be calculated.