Cycling system elements

October 10, 2018

CaptureI believe that cycling is good for everything: for the accessibility of cities, for the environment, for fun and for a healthy life.


As for the elements of cycling system, lanes, parking lots are main parts with assistant facilities as the boundary. It is important to realize the boundary of the system to include enough parts so that their relationship to lanes and parking lots makes sense.

When we start from the boundary of a system well, we find the elements relate to the other system like commerce, and see what is going on. Thinking of everything within some boundary as being a system suggests the need to look for certain kinds of influence and behaviour. We should consider the system’s inputs and outputs, the outputs of some parts being inputs for others. Some cases are trying to make an inventory of the roads and add characteristics, such as the quality of the road surface, whether it is paved or unpaved, and information about the surroundings even including benches, obstacles for tandems or cargo bikes, museums, ferries, tourist information centres, bicycle shops and charge points for electric bicycles.

Stockholm is taking smaller steps in parking perspective. They include placing on-street bicycle racks around the downtown and incorporating a bicycle parking area into a city-owned parking garage. This assistant part has all-hours access and also boasts personal lockers, showers, retail, repairs, air-conditioning, a cafe and bicycle- and car-sharing programs. It offers Internet access, and public transit is nearby.

When it comes to the lanes, mixing or separating is the most controversial part during system establishment. We put cyclists and motorists together on the road or we each give them their own lane. Whoever does not feel comfortable on a road because of the cars driving around, soon thinks: give me a bike path. Yet a cycle path or a bicycle lane is not the only solution to make a road more pleasant for cyclists. There are also other possibilities: we can ensure that fewer cars drive by making the road unattractive for car traffic, or reduce vehicle speed. In addition a parking ban or a stopping ban for motorists can also ensure that cycling becomes more pleasant.

Systems are not mutually exclusive. Any part of cycling may itself be considered as a system-a subsystem-with its own internal parts and interactions. Any element is likely to be part of a larger system that it influences and that influences it. The idea of an integral system should be expanded to include connections among all the elements above.

Jiameng Li   Task3


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