Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4196; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114196
- First, Germany has a high level of car ownership and a sufficient and high-quality road infrastructure supply that can facilitate convenient car use [15,16,17]. The passenger car is the major mode of commuting for employees (67.7% in 2016) . When many people already use a car as part of their daily routine, it is possible that they are reluctant to change their travel behavior .
- Second, the automotive industry is important to Germany both economically and politically. German economic lobby groups strongly support the automotive industry and motorized transport to ensure thriving development . Therefore, the implementation of pro-cycling policies and measures may encounter various barriers.
- safety concern [20,21,22];
- vandalism ;
- impracticality for daily use and perceived physical discomfort ;
- lack of cycling infrastructure ; and
- viewing cycling as a subcultural choice [25,26].
To help mitigate these perceived barriers and increase the public image of cycling, implementation of pro-cycling policies and the provision of a better cycling infrastructure are recommended [8,13,24]. However, not enough studies have focused on barriers to the actual implementation of pro-cycling policies.To promote cycling more efficiently, planners need to better understand the characteristics of the barriers to policy implementation, the underlying reasons, and the possible solutions to address them. This study took an in-depth look at Hamburg.
- What are the barriers to implementing pro-cycling policies in Hamburg?
- What are the underlying reasons for the barriers?
- Based on the findings, suggestions for overcoming the barriers are proposed.
2. Literature Review
2.1. Policies to Promote Cycling
- cycling lanes (separated from motor traffic by painted lines)
- cycling tracks and paths (physically separated from motor traffic), and
- various parking facilities [32,33]. Other than cycling lanes, tracks, and paths, German cities are innovative in establishing
- bicycle priority streets (Fahrradstrasse) where cyclists have priority on the entire street with minimal car traffic .
2.2. Barriers to Implementing Sustainable Transport Policy
2.3. Barriers to Implementing Pro-Cycling Policy
4.1. Cycling Trends and Policies in Hamburg
4.2. Barriers to Implementing Pro-Cycling Policies in Hamburg
4.2.1. Physical Barriers
“So all the area as it is now—the split up between pedestrian, parking cars and bicycle—[are] from 1970s and 1980s, that means the time when Hamburg has the main goal to be a car-friendly city. […] They [the cycling lanes] are very very small, about 80 cm to 1 m. Of course there are very much conflicts with pedestrians.”[H2 Cycling planner]
“There are lots of cars parking there and also there are illegal parking. […] To modernize this road, many of this illegal parking had to gone. People are buying more and more cars, statistics shows they don’t drive these cars they buy, and of course they want to put them in front of their house.”[H2 Cycling planner]
4.2.2. Political and Institutional Barriers
“To be fair to the politicians, in general cycling is a good thing, and as soon as you get conflict of interests with motorized traffic or even with the public transport, then cycling does tend to fall aside quite quickly. […] As an example, when there was debate about having citywide 30 km/h rules with the exception in certain places and some of the main roads, they said that Hamburg economy will come to a standstill. […] So cycling has been moved up to the agenda but I would not say it’s a priority in Hamburg, definitely not.”[H1 Researcher]
“The port and the logistic lobby is very strong in Hamburg. And partly because of the problem of non-existence ring road, I mean we have Ring 1 and Ring 2, […] but we don’t have a sort of ring road in terms of a motorway where you could bypass Hamburg. If you go from east to west, you have to go through the city. […]. And then of course a lot of the port traffic, the lorries also have to travel across the city. […] This is an additional, in some cases an obstacle from the point of view of cycling.”[H1 Researcher]
“They [the citizens] want to participate more in the administration. […] They want to influence the road. […] Whether the tree in front of their house they want to keep, or whether there are parking spaces which they believed to be their own parking space in front of their house, and so on, so this is very complex.”[H2 Cycling planner]
“You shouldn’t start too small. […] The [parking facilities around] Saarlandstrasse [Station] is already full after a few days or weeks, if you have good conditions, people’s use may be exploding. I think sometimes Hamburg is also very careful, too careful, with the number. […] And I think they also underestimated that people are willing to ride a very long distance with their bikes; that is also important.”[H5 B + R planner]
“We have strategy for cycling but we have no official strategy yet for any of the other modes. It’s a little bit difficult you have sort of things moving one way on the one side and the other moves the other way on the other side, and there is no strategic overlap and overview of where you want to go.”[H1 Researcher]
4.2.3. Social and Cultural Barriers
“They [Shop owners] are afraid if we take the car parking space away and put places for bike, they think they would get bankrupt, nobody would buy anything from them.”[H2 Cycling planner]
“And some cyclists are also motorists and they say ‘no, I wouldn’t want to give up my parking space’.”[H4 NGO]
4.2.4. Resource Barriers
“I don’t think money is the problem, but we don’t have enough engineers to do the planning work. […] We need more engineers. Road building companies don’t have as much engineers as we need to rebuild all the roads we want. So it takes some time.”[H2 Cycling planner]
4.2.5. Legal Barriers
4.3. Individual Level Barriers to Cycling
5.1. Summary of Findings
5.2. Suggestions for Overcoming Barriers
5.2.1. Cycling-Oriented Urban Design
5.2.2. Strategic and Integrated Planning for Cycling
5.2.3. Strong Political Support
Conflicts of Interest
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