Science and Technology

Técnico Researchers launch support tool for cycle network planning (biclaR)

Rosa Félix and Filipe Moura developed an online tool that allows decision makers to plan cycling infrastructure investment in order to reduce car trips.

biclaR is an online tool for the design and assessment of different scenarios of the cycling network models in the Lisbon metropolitan area (LMA). This project, developed by Rosa Félix and Filipe Moura, researchers at CERIS – Civil Engineering Research and Innovation for Sustainability, in collaboration with the University of Leeds, was promoted by Transportes Metropolitanos de Lisboa.

Using the map available on the platform it is possible to know the percentage of cycling trips, by municipality, as well as the existing and planned cycling network in 2022. biclaR indicates in which streets and avenues the construction of bike lanes may lead to a greater replacement of car trips to by increasing bike trips. Once it is a public access tool the results can be exported for analysis.

Thus, decision makers get information for “planning and investment in cycling infrastructure in order to achieve the goals of the National Strategy for Active Cycling Mobility (ENMAC). According to the ENMAC, “4% and 10% of all trips should be made by bicycle in 2025 and 2030, respectively”, explain the researchers.

To achieve the goals of 4% and 10% of bike trips in the LMA, “efforts should be made to increase from the current 25,000 to 212,000 and 530,000 daily bike trips, in 2025 and 2030 respectively,” they said. The great potential will be in bike trips of up to 5km or 10km.

Replacing car trips by increasing bike and public transport could be a reduction of 14 thousand tons of carbon dioxide per year. In addition, the social and environmental benefits are estimated at 225 million euros over 10 years, the researchers say.

The long-term benefits, in tonnes of carbon dioxide avoided annually, of swapping cars for bikes, and the monetisation of socio-environmental impacts are also an output of this tool. On the other hand, citizens can access information about the existing and planned network and analyse data as they wish with the information provided.

In order to create biclaR, the researchers developed a travel dispersal algorithm within a specific area, in partnership with the Institute for Transport Studies (University of Leeds). It was necessary to establish a method for estimating trips, in addition to public transport, and to estimate the environmental and social impacts of replacing car trips with bike trips.