VTI carries out cycling research, focusing on those factors which encourage and/or discourage bicycle usage. The research is undertaken at national and international level.
Cycling is considered as an important part of a sustainable transport system. Research related to cycling, primarily in urban areas, has been conducted at VTI since the 1970s.
Previously the focus cycling-related research has been targeted on different aspects of traffic safety. Today, a wider spectrum of issues are addressed, such as modal choice, measures to increase cycling, cycleway infrastructure, effects on traffic safety, etc.
Cycling-related research at VTI includes:
VTI has a wide experience in traffic safety analysis and evaluation. Recent studies have looked into local traffic safety development, the introduction of new traffic regulations, and cyclist accident data. The effects of legislative and non-compulsory measures, aimed at increasing the use of cycle helmets, have also been evaluated.
Based on a long-term experience of analyses of traffic safety for cyclists and pedestrians, researchers at VTI have developed a method for estimating the level of traffic safety for these road-users. The method is used to analyse different traffic situations and to evaluate the effects of changes in infrastructure, for example, the introduction of a new crossing design or mixed traffic streets with priority for cyclists.
VTI is engaged in social psychological research in the field of sustainable travel. The focus is on different categories of road users' behaviour, attitudes and norms. Our work is both theoretical and practical using a number of well established theoretical models. More recent research focuses on models to predict modal choice and how different campaigns can encourage the use of more sustainable forms of transport. The ultimate aim is to predict, explore and change travel behaviour.
With regard to traffic analysis, VTI has evaluated and improved methods for measuring bicycle flows on cycleways and in mixed traffic. A literature review report of measurement methods will shortly be published.
Presently, VTI leads a project with the aim to analyse current methods for estimating local percentages of bicycle traffic. This project includes a comparison with international methods.
One line of research at VTI is the analysis of different determinants for cycling in urban areas from a systems perspective. Included in these analyses are both structural factors such as the physical structure of the city/urban area, as well as other factors such as mobility management measures and local planning strategies.
Maintenance of cycleways is studied from various perspectives at VTI. Research includes looking into the effects on safety, accessibility and comfort of cyclists. The current routines, policies and regulations for cycleway maintenance are compared to cyclists' opinions of the significance of various road related factors. The objective is to provide information to road management authorities on how to improve maintenance of cycleways in order to promote cycling, in the most effective way.
Methods and equipment for cycleway maintenance have been tested and evaluated. Equipment, methods and models, for the evaluation of the service level of cycleways – such as cycleway ride quality – are currently being developed.
The Swedish Cycling Research Centre
The Swedish Cycling Research Centre is a national knowledge centre for research and education on cycling. The Centre is hosted by VTI. Visit Cykelcentrum's own website for more information, webinars and publications.