Walking and Cycling Principles

August 11, 2020
Walking an Cycling Principles - Cycling in the public realm California seaside

Walking and Cycling Principles

Create and Assess A Walking & Cycling Strategy

Planning For Walking and Cycling

A key element in a liveable community is the connectivity provided by walking and cycling infrastructure. This should include a strategy to promote an active mode of transport. Currently, infrastructure and an active mode strategy is prevalent in most major cities. However, we have still a long way to go for the entire world to be on the same page.

Enhancing walking and cycling infrastructure allows for greater quality of life, economic benefits, environmental benefits, health benefits and opportunities for people. Moreover, it provides places with easy access to local and community centres, retail and commercial attractions and public transport options.

So what are the typical elements lacking within communities today?

  • Lack of public realm infrastructure (a challenge in the Middle East);
  • Absence of Walking and Cycling strategy;
  • Pedestrian and cyclist safety concerns;
  • Accessibility to public transport stops and hubs.

To address such deficiencies, some key target outcomes should be set for the public realm within the communities:

  • Assess demands for active modes and influence the street designs;
  • Develop walking and cycling strategy in line with external networks;
  • Create a clear marked and dedicated right-of-way for pedestrians and cyclists within the physical designs;
  • Promote active modes through road and public transport strategy.

Following this understanding, we have set out key walking and cycling principles that should be followed to create a liveable and healthy community.

Walking and Biking Principles within a community - Beach walking and cycling

Key Walking and Cycling Principles

Walking Paths

  • Accessibility: Providing the user with the convenience, safety and choice when moving to and through places;
  • Connectivity: To connect the paths to attractive places and enhance accessibility to public transport, parks, commercial centres, and more;
  • Comfort: Providing comfort to users through context sensitive solutions where needed, such as a Shading Strategy;
  • Legibility: Providing the user with clean understanding of where the user is, and how to reach the destination;
  • Context: To recognise and value the importance of attractiveness of public spaces in a variety of ways including appreciating for the heritage and support for contemporary culture;
  • Sharing: Transforming the streets and roads by providing and equitable balance between
the needs of all users. This can be achieved by enhancing flexibility, cohesion and connectivity for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

Cycling Paths

  • Directness: To encourage the use, the facilities should provide routes which are direct and convenient for the users to undertake efficient journeys by bicycle and to provide bicycle parking spaces in convenient areas;
  • Connectivity: Provision of the opportunity for comprehensive network of cycle routes taking into consideration the traveling patterns and places of interest;
  • Attractiveness: To Recognise and value the importance of attractive public spaces and cycling routes in encouraging more cycle trips, appropriate behaviour and sense of place;
  • Safety: The tracks should be designed and perceived for safety, as it is critical in encouraging cycle trips;
  • Future Proof: An intelligent approach to implementation that will allow designs to adapt to local conditions and adopt future systems

Methodology and Assessment of Walking and Cycling

The illustration below outlines a step by step walking and cycling assessment methodology. This methodology can be used to assess overall requirements for a walking and cycling strategy, to create liveable and healthy communities.

In order to develop and optimise the walking and cycling strategy within the community, the quality of pedestrian and cycling routes is important. This can enrich the choices of the public transport modes. Generally cities try to encourage intermodal mobility between pedestrian and public transport to balance capacity of infrastructure. In some ways walking and cycling can be considered as an alternative mode of urban transport – or say a break from the chaos of modern city life. What role the walking and cycling strategy plays depends on the goals and visions by the city authorities and policies and zoning specified for your community.

In order to achieve and promote active modes within the communities – creating an user-friendly and healthy environment – it is important to create a functioning connected network. Consequently, the paths should connect to retail, commercial centres, schools, residential areas and to other public transport modes. The continuity of a path throughout the community enhances the overall connection within and outside the community. As a result we create a productive loop potentially contributing to the local economy.

To develop and optimise walking and cycling for all links, it is important to:

  1. Review existing, planned and future public transport network;
  2. Review future development plans and policies within the community;
  3. Identify accessibility gaps to public transport, local destinations and strategic corridors;
  4. Propose walking and cycling network (as a result of step 3);
  5. Validate future streetscape design to ensure walking and cycling is considered.
Walking and Cycling Assessment Methodology - Urban Planning - Defining Walking and Cycling Principles

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