31 October 2011

Promoting Cycling Effectively

A couple of years ago the national government announced a economic package for promoting cycling and building infrastructure. We posted about it in "94 Billion for Bikes" in early 2009. In the latest round of project funding, we at Copenhagenize Consulting received funding for two different projects. One is Bicycle Innovation Laboratory - Denmark's first Cultural Centre for cycling (more on that in the coming days) and the second project is a research project regarding marketing bicycle ridership.

We have teamed up with Thomas Krag Mobility Advice in the application and the project. Tomorrow we have a focus group seminar with various professionals to gain feedback moving forward. It's a very exciting project and we're looking forward to the continued work. We have had interest from a number of large cycling organisations about a further development, as well. On this blog we often highlight positive campaigns for promoting cycling - as well as the negative ones. Here's the rundown of the project.

Effective Bicycle Promotion
Development of methodology to determine the effect on messages regarding marketing of bicycle traffic.
Thomas Krag Mobility Advice & Copenhagenize Consulting

Promoting cycling is not only a question of improving the conditions for bicycles (or making the alternatives less attractive), but also marketing cycling. While we here in Denmark are rather good at creating bicycle friendly infrastructure, we have far less experience with effective marketing of cycling as transport.

Traditionally, individual transportation choices are linked to objective conditions (distance, infrastructure, weather) although it is evident that there are also - as with other consumer choices - a number of non-rational and highly emotional factors involved. Knowing these factors and ways to influence them will be the key to a more effective marketing of the bicycle, which would mean that we could achieve a higher effect in encouraging the growth of new cyclists and reducing the number of those who give up
the bicycle.

Theory and method
Promoting cycling is all about behavior modification, and can be tackled with the so-called trans-theoretical model. The trans-theoretical model works with a curve that describes the various stages of “will do it or not considering doing it at all” through “can well imagine that” to “do it every day.” The model was developed for use in health behaviors (diet, smoking), but is also used previously in connection with transport behaviour.

The individual’s placement on the curve indicates whether there is frequent cycling or not, and how far someone that usually doesn’t cycle is from taking up cycling as a mode of transport. If a larger group is examined, the result will tell you how developed a bicycle culture is, just as repeated studies will be able to show whether or not the bicycle culture is moving forward or backward. As well as showing whether potential bicycle promotion initiatives have had any effect. This also applies if the effect has
not yet manifested itself in a large group of cyclists.

One objective for this project is to develop a measurable method that is so sensitive that it not only puts the individual at a given step of the curve, but provides a continuous measure of where each individual is located. The measurement method will be developed based on the experiences of others in the mobility sector and inclusion of the latest knowledge on the emotional impact of consumer behavior, not least neuroscience marketing.

With such a sensitive method of measurement will have a tool to assess whether or not - and to what extent - explicit or hidden messages about cycling affect respondents. The measurement method will then immediately be able to tell what works best in promoting cycling.

It is expected that people who seldom or never cycle are more susceptible to messages about cycling than daily cyclists. The former group - far more than the latter - must base their ideas about cycling on conjecture and remote experience. This group of non-cyclists (or seldom cyclists) who are already the primary target for promotion campaigns, will be the best group to use in connection with this method. Once the measurement method is in place, it will be used to test different messages that implicitly or explicitly deal with cycling, since the goal is to determine how these messages affect the respondents willingness to cycle. The material to be used will be in part from previously used campaigns, as well as material (text, photos and video) produced specifically for the project.

Project Organisation

The project will be implemented in close cooperation between Copenhagenize Consulting and Thomas Krag Mobility Advice, two partners with core competencies in bike culture, bike marketing and transportation behaviour.

Expected results
- Measurement method which can be used to assess the effectiveness of message on individuals’ willingness to cycle.
- Increased knowledge about the messages that works (achieved through the use of measurement).
- Recommendations based on the obtained test results.
- Summary Report describing the method and gained knowledge.
- Informing the reference group and engaging them as a spin-off.
- Publication of results on the Internet, in articles and at conferences.
- Use of the results of in municipal bicycle promotion activities.

A conservative estimate is that more effective local cycling campaigns can lead to increased cycling activity to an extent as without the knowledge gained and the cost saved would be:
1 to 10 million Danish kroner more per year. (€133,300 to £1,333,300 per year)

29 October 2011

Pedala Zezinho!

This is brilliant. Fixing kids' bikes in Sao Paulo.

Pedala Zezinho is a project that took place in the south zone of Sao Paulo, Brazil, at Campo do Astro. During three Saturdays in September, 2011, 210 bikes were inspected and 150 were fixed. For more information, visit aromeiazero.com

24 October 2011

Copenhagenizing Copenhagen

We always have a bunch of ideas kicking around at Copenhagenize Consulting. We are always working on individual, tailor-made solutions when we work with other cities - every city is unique - but last month we decided to try out some ideas right here in Copenhagen. In our own backyard.

Take It Easy
Earlier this year we blogged about how Copenhagen tries to keep Holding On To Cyclists by placing railings and footrests around the city to let bicycle users rest against them whilst waiting at red lights. Brilliant idea and we love it. The text on the footrest is a communications template we developed for the Bicycle Office.

These railings, are, however, limited in that these railings can only be implemented in certain locations where they don't interfere with pedestrian mobility. There are eight of them around the city now.
Copenhagen Lean
Copenhageners, however, will lean up against anything they can at red lights. We have a whole photo series dedicated to it. Have a look around the city. The metal poles are rubbed smooth by all the hands that rest against them.

There are many lightposts around the city that are positioned right at the stop line for bicycles so we developed the idea to exploit this space and cater to - if not the bicycle users' Desire Lines - then their "Stationary Desire Spots".

See our solution in the film, above. We call it the Copenhagenize Love Handle.
It was a massive success during the ten days of the pilot project. We placed six of them around the city, on busy bicycle routes. When the team was taking them down, people protested, saying they loved them. We also set out to track the behaviour change during the course of the pilot project. When a new "thing" appears on peoples' regular route, how long does it take for people to to notice the Love Handles? Would they use them? Answers: Two days. Yes.

The next prototype we whipped together was what we call the Copenhagenize Has Bin.

Before we made this prototype, you see, we had no bin... now Copenhagenize has bin.
Um... anyway...

A couple of years ago Copenhagenize Consulting suggested that the City of Copenhagen's Bicycle Office make rubbish bins tilted towards cyclists. We were thrilled when they finally implemented them. It wasn't quite what we had proposed - we sent them photos of Dutch "Blikvanger" - proposing something bigger, higher up and more noticeable, but hey. The city is bound by design guidelines and it was tough getting permission to alter the existing rubbish bins.

So... like with the Love Handles, we decided to just get out there and try out our own version. Rock and roll. Many of the Dutch blikvanger are on bicycle paths, away from roads. We wanted to make a portable rubbish bin that was easy to implement, easy to move and that could be placed on existing poles and masts in the heart of the city. This was more of a 'prototype' than the Love Handles but it, too, was a success.

The Copenhagenize Love Handle The Copenhagenize Love Handle The Copenhagenize Love Handle
It was hard to document people throwing garbage - we'd have to stand there for hours - but the nets did contain garbage. Loads of coffee cups and apple cores and banana peels. Things people consume on their bicycles. To be honest, we need to further develop the prototype, but we were so pleased to see that they were used. More of our friends noticed these than the love handles - probably because they were placed along crosstown routes along The Lakes, as opposed to the Love Handles which were on arterials leading from the neighbourhoods to the city centre.

All in all, it was fun. Designing, thinking out of the box, doodling, measuring, welding, implementing, documenting. A little bit of Copenhagenizing Copenhagen. We're now working on a concept involving Love Handles for another city, which will be fun.

23 October 2011

Bicycle Rush Hour Copenhagen

I was editing another film and this sequence stuck out. If you're riding the rush hour in Copenhagen on the busy routes, it's quite often that you won't make the green light and will have to wait for the next one. In the morning bicycle traffic on Nørrebrogade - the busiest bicycle street in the world - you can often miss two lights because of the wonderful flow of human powered traffic.

19 October 2011

Cargo Bike Capital - Rio de Janeiro

Rio Cargo Bike Culture_3
At Copenhagenize Consulting we're partners in a European Project, CycleLogistics, which will promote the use of cargo bikes in European cities for the next three years. It's a massive project and very exciting for our company, as well as the other stakeholders involved. Next week we're heading to Ferrara, Italy for the next CycleLogistics meeting.

Copenhagen, of course, is a benchmark city regarding use of cargo bikes. With around 40,000 cargo bikes in use in Greater Copenhagen each day, it's safe to say that cargo transport is mainstream in the Danish capital. A quarter of all families with two or more children have one and a growing number of services are provided via cargo bike.

All well and good. But let me introduce to you Rio de Janeiro, because there are a few tricks that city can teach the rest of us.

A few months ago I wrote about the cargo bike culture in Sao Paulo, which was fantastic to experience. I knew that Rio de Janeiro was going to be something special when I was picked up by friends at the airport on a cargo bike carrying a folding bike for me to ride.

One of the friends was Ze Lobo, who works at Transporte Ativo, and over my time in the city he filled me in about the state of the nation regarding cycling and, not least, cargo bikes. The latter is something worth broadcasting.

The active transportation NGO Transporte Ativo did a cargo bike count last year, focusing on the Copacabana neighbourhood in the city. It's worth mentioning that a lot of the perceptions of Rio and Brazil don't really apply anymore. The country and the cities are experiencing an economic upturn. Indeed, it's the only country I've been to over the past ten years or so where the almighty Danish kroner was rather unimpressive. Prices were largely the same across the board.

The point is we're not dealing with an underdeveloped city here - certainly not the Copacabana neighbourhood. So. Let's hear about the amazing cargo bike culture they have going on.

The Transporte Ativo report counted bicycle and cargo bike deliveries in fantastic detail.

Here's the rub: There are 11,541 deliveries made by bicycle or cargo trike every day in the neighbourhood. Eleven thousand five hundred and forty one. Making 23.082 journeys - back and forth.

Rio Cargo Bike Culture_6 Rio Cargo Bike Culture_2

As Transporte Ativo puts it: "One of the most important and expensive urban freight stages is the last-mile, when the goods are delivered from shops to consumers. Cargo vehicles powered by human propulsion have been used worldwide to reduce cost and air pollution related to the last-mile. Cargo bicycles are the best option for transporting goods over short distances and can easily be integrated into city’s busy streets. Its use lightens the burden of motorized transportation, such as congestion, parking issues, air pollution and its impacts on climate change."

Here's the area of interest.

Here is a graph about the kinds of establishments that were included in the count.

The numbers of bikes and cargo bikes that the establishments have.

The number of deliveries that the establishments make each day.

Here is an overview of the kinds of pedal power used by the establishments.

Rio Cycle Chic_35
38 Bakeries: 1307 deliveries/day; 71 cyclists; 68 bicycles.

36 Construction & electrical supplies: 768 deliveries/day; 60 cyclists; 56 bicycles.

32 Laundries: 557 deliveries/day; 41 cyclists; 42 bicycles.

29 Supermarkets: 1398 deliveries/day; 86 cyclists; 79 bicycles.

22 Beverage Distributors: 1812 deliveries/day; 101 cyclists; 90 bicycles.

20 Pet Shops: 489 deliveries/day; 39 cyclists; 42 bicycles.

11 Retail kiosks: 96 deliveries/day; 16 cyclists; 14 bicycles.

9 Mattress stores : 68 deliveries/day; 9 cyclists; 9 bicycles.

6 Electronic workshops: 52 deliveries/day; 8 cyclists; 8 bicycles.

3 Flower shops: 50 deliveries/day; 5 cyclists; 5 bicycles.

2 Woodworks: 34 deliveries/day; 4 cyclists; 4 bicycles.

2 Cleaning supplies stores: 26 deliveries/day; 4 cyclists; 4 bicycles.

Rio Cargo Bike Culture_4
9 Freelancers: 160 deliveries/day; 9 cyclists; 9 bicycles.

2 Cobblers: 22 deliveries/day; 3 cyclists; 3 bicycles.
4 Auto parts stores: 40 deliveries/day; 5 cyclists; 4 bicycles.
5 Video rentals: 91 deliveries/day; 9 cyclists; 8 bicycles.
9 Butchers: 378 deliveries/day; 17 cyclists; 17 bicycles.
11 Bars: 68 deliveries/day; 10 cyclists; 15 bicycles.
42 Drugstores: 2377 deliveries/day; 132 cyclists; 124 bicycles.
35 Snack and juice: 844 deliveries/day; 57 cyclists; 51 bicycles.
32 Restaurants: 724 deliveries/day; 59 cyclists; 58 bicycles.

Here are the details of the establishments, the number of deliveries, cyclists and bikes/trikes.
372 Establishments
42 Drugstores: 2377 deliveries; 132 cyclists; 124 bicycles.
38 Bakeries: 1307 deliveries; 71 cyclists; 68 bicycles.
36 Construction & electrical supplies: 768 deliveries; 60 cyclists; 56 bicycles.
35 Snack and juice: 844 deliveries; 57 cyclists; 51 bicycles.
32 Restaurants: 724 deliveries; 59 cyclists; 58 bicycles.
32 Laundries: 557 deliveries; 41 cyclists; 42 bicycles.
29 Supermarkets: 1398 deliveries; 86 cyclists; 79 bicycles.
22 Beverage Distributors: 1812 deliveries; 101 cyclists; 90 bicycles.
20 Pet Shops: 489 deliveries; 39 cyclists; 42 bicycles.
11 Retail kiosks: 96 deliveries; 16 cyclists; 14 bicycles.
11 Bars: 68 deliveries; 10 cyclists; 15 bicycles.
9 Freelancers: 160 deliveries; 9 cyclists; 9 bicycles.
9 Mattress stores : 68 deliveries; 9 cyclists; 9 bicycles.
9 Butcheries: 378 deliveries; 17 cyclists; 17 bicycles.
6 Electronic workshops: 52 deliveries; 8 cyclists; 8 bicycles.
5 Video rentals: 91 deliveries; 9 cyclists; 8 bicycles.
4 Auto parts stores: 40 deliveries; 5 cyclists; 4 bicycles.
3 Flower shops: 50 deliveries; 5 cyclists; 5 bicycles.
2 Woodworks: 34 deliveries; 4 cyclists; 4 bicycles.
2 Cleaning supplies stores: 26 deliveries; 4 cyclists; 4 bicycles.
2 Cobblers: 22 deliveries; 3 cyclists; 3 bicycles.
Other: 180 deliveries; 23 cyclists; 22 bicycles.

The count found some interesting details hidden in the data, too:
- More than half of pet shop deliveries are for animal transport. Approximately 120 pets are transported by bicycle per day in Copacabana.
- In certain stores, flat tires virtually stopped after repairing puncture became rider’s responsibility.
- Some tricycles come to move more than 300 kg of cargo.
- The largest fleet is owned by a drugstore, with 13 bicycles.
- 95% of deliveries are within a 3 km range. 4% go beyond 3 km. 1% are in the immediate area.
- 95% of bicycles are property of establishments, 4% are property of employees,
- More than 50% of all travels include food.
- The count did not include the many custom-made trikes selling popcorn, churros, steamed corn and other foodstuffs.

In addition to the Transporte Ativo report, there was an annex produced by Transporte Ativo and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), which sought to discover further details and motivation behind this transport behaviour.

Main advantages of bicycle and tricycle use on goods delivery, according to the establishments managers.

Weight of loads delivered by tricycles and bicycles.

Accidents involving the bicycle deliverers.

Measures needed to provide greater traffic security and visibility, according to bicycle deliverers.

Rio Cargo Bike Culture_8
There you have it. Not a bad report at all, is it? European cities are moving forward with cargo bikes as a solution to the transport logistic problems. American cities are rising to the challenge, too. Then there's Rio de Janeiro. Just getting on with it.

17 October 2011

Bicycle Infrastructure 'n Stuff in Paris & Bordeaux

Paris Cycle Track
In Paris recently, on my way to Bordeaux to take part in an expert panel who analysed Bordeaux's proposed bike plan, I hung out with my friend Rebecca. We took Velib bike share bicycles to Montparnasse train station so I could catch the TGV to Bordeaux. Here's a new cycle track behind Parc du Luxembourg. Nicely designed.
Rebecca in Paris_1
My suitcase didn't really fit in the Velib basket. But I brought a bungee cord, 'cause I knew that. I prefer the racks on Bicing in Barcelona. You can squeeze anything in there.

Paris Bus and Cycle Lane
When Velib started you could share the bus lanes in Paris. Great in that city because the buses stop so frequently. Then, I've heard, they disallowed cycling in the bus lanes. Now, on certain stretches, it's allowed again. Here, heading down towards Montparnasse. Nice and wide.

More infrastructure from Paris from other trips:
Paris Bike Culture - Cycling Sociably Paris Cycle Chic - Blue Boots Infrastructure Attentions Pietons Paris Infrastructure Dual Vélo Liberté - Parisian Bike Culture Paris Bike Lanes Paris Turning LaneInfrastructure Paris Bike Lane Vélo Hommes - Cycling Chaps in Paris Paris Traffic

Bordeaux Cycle Track
Bordeaux has 9% modal share for bicycles in the city centre. Here's a cycle track (one of those pesky bi-directional ones, but hey).

Bordeaux Bike Box
A bike box. Pulling the stop lines back for cars is an incredibly effective traffic calming measure at intersections for cyclists and pedestrians alike. We've been doing it in Copenhagen since 2008.

Bordeaux Bike Lane
Basic painted lane on a side street.

Bordeaux Bicycle Signage_2
Cool, elegant bike lane pictogram near the station.

Bordeaux Bicycle Signage
Bicycle signage.

Bordeaux Bicycle Signage_1
Nothing like a 20 km/h zone complete with contraflow for bicycles.

Bordeaux VCub Bike Share
Coolest graphic design I've ever seen on a bike share bike. It was a public competition to design the graphics and the logo.

Bordeaux Cycle Chic Hommes (13)
And it's a great success so far.