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WALCYNG- Final Summary Report

How to enhance WALking and CYcliNG instead of shorter car trips and to make these modes safer

Project Coordinator:
Department of Traffic Planning and Engineering, Lund University, Sweden

FACTUM Chaloupka, Praschl & Risser OHG
Franco Gnavi and Carlo Bonanni
City of Helsinki, City Planning Office
Institute of Transport Economics
Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki
Instituto de Tráfico y Seguridad Vial (INTRAS), University of Valencia
TransportTechnologie-Consult Karlsruhe GmbH
Dutch Pedestrian Association 'De Voetgangersvereniging'
Chalmers University of Technology AB (subcontractor)

Project duration: 01.03.96 – 08.31.97


1. Department of Traffic Planning and Engineering, Lund University (co-ordinator)
2. FACTUM Chaloupka, Praschl & Risser OHG (full partner)
3. Franco Gnavi and Carlo Bonanni (full partner)
4. City of Helsinki, City Planning Office (full partner)
5. Institute of Transport Economics (full partner)
6. Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki (full partner)
7. Instituto de Tráfico y Seguridad Vial (INTRAS), University of Valencia (full partner)
8. TransportTechnologie-Consult Karlsruhe GmbH (full partner)
9. Dutch Pedestrian Association 'De Voetgangersvereniging' (full partner)
10. Chalmers University of Technology AB (subcontractor)

The purpose of WALCYNG is to sort out conditions and measures which may contribute in replacing short car trips with walcyng (walking and cycling). WALCYNG applies a Market- ing Model, in our project formalised in four main parts:

1. Information policy: One has to collect information about potential and practising custom- ers so that the preconditions for the behaviour they should choose could be made attractive.

2. Product and distribution policy: Adequate and attractive technical solutions are worked out, and considered thoroughly so that they will meet customers" and potential customers" needs.

3. Incentive and pricing policy: One also has to provide incentives given by the society, institutions, companies, etc., on all levels, both to encourage walking and cycling and to dis- courage the use of car for short trips.

4. Communication policy: Users and potential users have to be informed that their needs and interests are taken into consideration, on the product and distribution side, as well as on the incentive side. The product has to be displayed and has to be given a positive image.

The project outcome aims both at road users who could replace their short car trips, employ- ers who could support and benefit from a modal change among their employees, and authori- ties and decision makers who can influence on modal split by changing frame conditions.

A wide range of methods have been used in the different work packages; e.g. literature stud- ies, analysis of travel surveys, round table discussions with experts and laymen, interviews with experts and road users and a Stated Preference Survey.

Basic results from the eleven work packages

1/ What is known about the target groups and their situation?

Work Package 1: 'Portions of short car trips and trips by walking and cycling '
As an average the population in the European countries makes about three trips per person per day. In most countries the average number of walking trips is between 0.5 and 1 trip per person per day, and between 2 and 2.5 cycle trips. A majority of the trips are 1 km or shorter for walkers and 3-5 km for cyclists, although differing between countries. The share of cy- cling trips in Europe is around 5-10 per cent of all trips, but much higher rates are found in the Netherlands (29 per cent), and Denmark (17 per cent).

Many car trips are quite short; a change from car to walking or cycling for trips shorter than 3-5 km, could replace half of all car trips in many European cities. Trip chains could only explain some of the car use on short trips. Important differences are found between men and women, young and old, car-owners and people without a car, workers and non-workers.

Work Package 2: 'Products and efforts for pedestrians and cyclists'
The products and efforts were divided into four different types:
1/ Personal products, i.e. products that are appropriate to wear or to be used for help or com- fort, for weather protection, for carrying, for security or items to facilitate walcyng.
2/ Vehicle products belong primarily to the bicycle or could be attached to it. They are aids for weather protection, for carrying, for safety or items to facilitate walcyng.
3/ The road and infrastructure category deals with design and maintenance on net level, of links, crossings, parking facilities and intermodality points. Restrictions for the motorised traffic also belongs to this category.
4/ The aim of societal efforts (e.g. media, politicians, officials, companies, etc) is to reach certain attitudes and behaviour among the public that are supporting walcyng interests and/or discouraging the use of the car. The means can either be persuasive or forcing.

Work Package 3: 'General problems of pedestrians and cyclists'
The experienced problems of walcers were analysed along the dimensions social climate, health, comfort, safety, mobility, aesthetics and financial advantage.
A problem related to Social Values is the low status of walcyng, especially compared with driving a car. Health: Cycling is good for health but cannot be done without a baseline health condition. Aestetical problems evolve as pedestrians and cyclists have time to look around and really get to know the environment. Comfort: As walking also is a way of socialising, it is important with special provision of benches, waste-baskets, shelters, public toilets, etc. The main Mobility problem of cyclists is the lack of a continuous and good quality network. Security: Cyclists should be separated from cars, and pedestrians from both cars and cyclists. People"s security is threatened if walcers are too isolated, especially if the illumination is poor.

Work Package 4: 'Safety Problems of pedestrians and cyclists'.
Even though it seems to be a fact that the more cyclists there are in a country the lower the accident rate is, increased walking and cycling would result in a considerable increase in ac- cidents if not strong action is taken. The work package resulted in eight recommendations valid in most European countries. In most cases they can be implemented with reasonable costs in a short term. One of the most important measures that WALCYNG wants to high- light is a strategy to achieve a maximum speed on streets where walcers are present of 30 km/h - e.g. by using physical measures, automatic speed camera control and speed limiters in cars. Another measure to mention is the separation of pedestrians and cyclists horizontally where they share the same space. Finally; two-way cycle paths should not be used without specific facilities at crossings.

2/ How could results of WP 1 through 4 be used in WALCYNG?

Work Package 5: A synthesis with regard to products and efforts
One of the most important results that was carried further from the synthesis in WP 5, was that a segmentation of the target group was necessary. The reason is the significant differ- ences in experienced problems among different sub-groups, both among experienced wal- cers" and among those whom WALCYNG wants to turn into experienced walcers.

3/ How could preconditions for walcyng be assessed?

Work Package 6: Interviews, attitude analyses, stated preferences There are a lot of benefits associated with walcyng: Health aspects are important benefits of walcyng. For walking environmental aspects and getting fresh air are additional important benefits. Surprisingly, environmental aspects are not mentioned as positive aspects of cycling very often. Cycling is fun, gives you good exercise and is very convenient. Even though there are many benefits involved in walking and cycling, walcers meet a lot of barriers or obsta- cles.

Lack of ability to transport heavy things are among the important barriers of walking. Envi- ronmental and geographical barriers, like the hillyness, bad weather, polluted the air are im- portant negative aspects of cycling. Also infrastructure barriers such as insufficient road cy- cle network, unsafe crossings, parked cars on the pavements and high curb stones are impor- tant negative aspects of cycling.

A Norwegian Stated Preference-study indicates that the trips to work and to sports and exer- cise are easiest replaceable by bicycle. Grocery shopping trips could easiest be replaced by walking. Short trips by car where you deliver or fetch someone are very difficult to replace by walcyng.

4/ What incentives and disincentives should be provided for car drivers to make them walk and cycle instead of using the car for short distances?

Work Package 8: Incentive Strategies
Incentives are important instruments to influence travel behaviour towards more walcyng. At the moment incentive strategies are most often focusing on cycling and the use of public transport. Walking is still considered only marginally.

Incentive strategies should play a more important role in the future, both providing a wal- cyng-friendly infrastructure and atmosphere and economical incentives in order to make wal- cyng more competitive compared with using the car. Examples on successful strategies from private companies and public authorities are displayed in the report.

5/ How good is communication with the target groups and how can it be im- proved?

Work Package 9: Communication strategies
The Work Package concluded that communicative measures (e.g., information campaigns, advertising) should consider a segmentation of the market and different characteristics of different target groups. The sender of the message may vary, as long as he or she is credible. Some important characteristics of 'good communication' that can be summarised on basis of literature and experiences are the following:

  • communication may be directed both to the general public, and adapted to the target group, and to institutions the co-operation of which is needed, or wanted
  • messages should refer to an existing frame of reference. They may directly or indirectly refer to the expected behaviour, however without moralising.
  • different strategies can be followed. Communication may be part of a power strategy, a reinforcing strategy, or a persuasive strategy.
  • the effects of campaigning will only show over a longer time.
  • characteristics of the social and physical environment are conditional. Before expecting any change, the social and physical environment need to be improved.

6/ How should researchers and practitioners prepare themselves for the struc- tural difficulties they will meet with a topic that so far considered of inferior importance?

Work Package 10: Inoculation
This work package reflects the idea that mentally dealing with the expected problems helps one to react in a more relevant and objective way when they arise. The involved person will thereby be better prepared and resistant. ('Forewarned is forearmed').

The arguments against walcyng used by different "opponents" (governmental institutions, private institutions, or certain individuals working in such institutions) are quite many. They can be subdivided into three categories:

    1. arguments of general character against walcyng (e.g. the safety argument, the weather/ topography argument, the mobility argument)
    2. economical/political arguments (e.g. the economic argument, the bad customer argument)
    3. "democratic and communication" arguments (e.g. minority and competition arguments)
For all types of arguments the report presents relevant counterarguments.

7/ How to raise and sustain the importance of walcyng as transport modes Work Package 11: Lobbying
The most important aspects in connection with lobbying are:

  • Propagating walcers"s interests includes to become part of the political sphere.
  • The effectiveness of lobbying is linked to power, like economical, representative, psy- chological, power through access to resources, etc..
  • Lobbies steer existing research. Research is connected with development.
  • The media influence people"s attitudes and behaviour.
  • Walcers have to fight for a similar position as car manufacturers who penetrate into all sectors of life.
  • Successful lobbying needs a network of co-operating partners.

The Walcyng Quality Scheme

One main goal of WALCYNG was to produce an evaluation scheme; the Walcyng Quality Scheme (WQS). It should allow an assessment of different policy activities in the area. The scope of the WQS is presented in the frame of Work Package 7.

The WQS is designed as an interactive software that can be used for obtaining and evaluating information about the preconditions for walcyng in a certain area of interest (a target group, a type of product, a route, a neighbourhood, a city, a country, etc.). The WQS should on the one hand remind the compilers of all relevant aspects to be considered both when assessing given preconditions for walcyng, and when developing measures. In this respect, the WQS resembles a checklist. On the other hand, the WQS has a comparative and an analytic char- acter because the quality of the aspects that should be considered has to be assessed, as well.

The person or group that use the WQS can either choose: 1/ a full version that provides an exhaustive evaluation and additional information, referring to help functions associated with criteria items, for a number of special problems. The help functions are clarifications of the items which are presented, or 2/ a module, i.e. the choice of specific parts of the WQS which best suit the sort of task one wishes to accomplish.

The WQS is still in a research phase, i.e. it is not complete with regard to all possible aspects, and it does still not provide compilers with answers on all relevant questions.

Exploitation and dissemination

Regarding the premature status of the WQS, one important part in the exploitation of WALCYNG findings will be to communicate with potential users of the WQS in order to have them to use it and to systematise efforts so that the WQS can be completed and vali- dated with regard to its usefulness in increasing the interest for walcyng and the actual use of walcyng as a means of transport for short trips. In addition the main dissemination activities are:

  • Final report: Includes the WQS as an enclosure.
  • A short version that containing the most important findings and recommendations.
  • Work package reports: Will be available for everybody who is interested in them.
  • Report on questionnaire to cities about their walcyng activities: Distributed to cities, etc.
  • WQS on paper, on diskette. (Will not be ready in the present project).
  • The WALCYNG film: Presenting the scope and walcyng practice in different cities.
  • The WALCYNG slide show: Presents lots of good and bad examples for walcers.
  • Presentations: WALCYNG is presented regularly at conferences, meetings, in papers, etc.

WALCYNG Partner list

Department of Traffic Planning and Engineering, Lund University. Christer Hydén ( (email removed) ), Annika Nilsson ( (email removed) ), Box 118, S-221 00 Lund, Sweden. Phone:+4646 2229125. Fax:+ 4646 123272 (Co-ordinator and leader of work package 2)

FACTUM Chaloupka, Praschl & Risser OHG, Ralf Risser ( (email removed) ), Danhausergasse 6/8, A-1040, Wien, Austria. Phone: +43 1 5041546. FaX: +43 1 5041548 (Leader package of work package 8, 10 and 11).

Franco Gnavi and Carlo Bonanni, Franco Gnavi ( (email removed) ), Roma 4818361, via Sallustiana 26, I-00187 Roma, Italy. Phone: +39 6 48889230. Fax: +39 6 48889231

City of Helsinki, City Planning Office, Eero Pasanen ( (email removed) ), Alexandergatan 26, FIN-00170 Helsingfors, Finland. Phone: +358 9 1693491. Fax: +358 9 1693778. (Leader of work package 4)

Institute of Transport Economics, Ingunn Stangeby ( (email removed) ), Postboks 6110, Etterstad, N-0602 Oslo 6, Norway. Phone: +47 22573800. Fax: +47 22570290 (Leader of work package 1 and 6).

Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki. Liisa Hakamies-Blomqvist ( (email removed) ), P.O. Box 13 (Meritullinkatu 1), FIN-00014 Univ. of Helsinki, Finland. Phone: +358 919123403. Fax: 358 919123404. (Leader of work package 3).

Instituto de Tráfico y Seguridad Vial (INTRAS), University of Valencia. Enrique J. Carbonell Vayá ( (email removed) ), Avd. Blasco Ibánez, 21, ES-46010, Valencia, Spain. Phone: +34 6 3864851. Fax: +34 6 3864822. (Leader of work package 7).

TransportTechnologie-Consult Karlsruhe GmbH. Rainer Schneider, Gerwigstrasse 53, D- 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany. Phone: +49 721 62503-0, Fax: +49 721 6250333 . (Leader of work package 5).

Dutch Pedestrian Association 'De Voetgangersvereniging' . Willem Vermeulen, Emmapark 9, NL-2595 ES Den Haag, The Netherlands. Phone: +31 70 3471501, Fax: +31 70 3819654. (Leader of work package 9).

Chalmers University of Technology AB . Olof Gunnarsson ( (email removed) ), Road and Traffic Planning Dep., S-412 96 Göteborg, Sweden. Phone: +46 31 7722391. Fax: +46 31 189705

Back to top Last Updated: 20-04-1999