R&D Project

Super Bike Paths increase capacity and flow

Various initiatives make it much more attractive to bike - see them here

In Copenhagen, one of the world’s leading cities for cycling, congestion is not confined to the road system. A range of new Super Bike Path solutions includes green waves, fast lanes and virtual traffic islands to increase capacity and flow on bike paths.

“In order to ensure that cycling remains an attractive means of transportation, it is critical to optimise capacity and flow in the limited space available,” Ramboll traffic planner Casper Wulff explains.      

A Ramboll team of traffic planners and traffic safety experts has developed a range of new Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) solutions for The Municipality of Copenhagen and the Secretary of Cycle Superhighways – some of which are being tested and evaluated on Copenhagen’s busiest bike paths.

Fast lane/comfort lane
Essentially mirroring the rules and norms of the highway, the division of bike paths into a fast lane and a comfort lane enables cyclists to ride at their preferred pace and overtake if needed, thereby improving traffic flow. An evaluation shows that more than half of all cyclists consider it to be easier to overtake as a consequence, and half of all cyclists consider it to be easier to ride at their preferred pace.

Virtual traffic islands
Traditionally, the way to safely combine bike paths and bus stops has been to narrow bike paths to make room for traffic islands where bus passengers can safely exit the bus. However, this takes up space and capacity even when no busses are stopping. A possible solution is to activate lights in the pavement to demarcate a virtual traffic island as a bus approaches the bus stop. As the bus leaves, the markings are deactivated, and the bike path returns to its full width. The concept is currently under development and is planned for testing at different sites in Copenhagen in 2016.

Green waves
A third example is the integration of signalised junctions that ensures ‘green waves’ for cyclists. Currently, Ramboll and The Municipality of Copenhagen are developing an intelligent and dynamic system that adapts to changes in average cycling speeds due to variables such as weather and traffic density by way of data collection points along the bike path.

About author

Ramboll employs more than 16,500 experts globally and has especially strong representation in the Nordics, UK, North America, Continental Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific. With 300 offices in 35 countries, Ramboll combines local experience with a global knowledgebase constantly striving to achieve inspiring and exacting solutions that make a genuine difference to our clients, the end-users, and society at large. Ramboll works across the following markets: Buildings, Transport, Planning & Urban Design, Water, Environment & Health, Energy and Management Consulting.

Primary contact
Anders Dyrelund

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