In partial fulfilment of the requirements for graduation of the Master’s degree Construction Management and Engineering



Last Updated: 2-2016


The  increasing  density  of  urban  areas  has  led  to  mobility  problems  all  over  the  world.  Air  pollution, noise and congestion are the results of unsustainable mobility. Governments focus their  policies  towards  encouragement  of  bicycle  usage  to  target  private  cars  use.  The  Netherlands and Denmark are worldwide examples of stimulating the bicycle culture by providing comfortable and safe cycling facilities. Despite the large investments in improved bicycle infrastructure, there is still a lack of knowledge concerning the actual effectiveness of these improvements on route‐choice and the propensity to cycle. Transportation planners in practice often base bicycle traffic flows on the assumption of shortest path preference, though existing literature proves that specific comfort aspects should also be taken into account. The traffic models which are used by transportation planners as a decision support tool, require another assignment method and better theoretical grounding. In this research the influence of comfort aspects on route‐ and mode‐choice decisions of cyclists and how these do relate to the influence of travel time savings is investigated. A stated preference experiment was completed by  728  respondents  in  the  Netherlands.  The  availability  of  bicycle  facilities,  the  pavement  quality and the presence of slopes on a cycling route seem to be of more influence than 4 minutes  of  travel  time  savings  on  the  route‐choice.  Regarding  mode‐choice  decisions,  the  experiment turned out that providing secured bicycle parking facilities and a higher route‐comfort are of more influence on the propensity to cycle than providing a shorter route. Besides the utility values for these aspects, also an elaborate definition for bicycle route‐comfort is found in this research. The results have finally been compared to conventional traffic model calculations.  The  comparison  showed  that  taking  into  consideration  specific  route  aspects  leads to more accurate bicycle traffic assignment. This research may therefore be seen as a contribution to the theoretical grounding and improvements of bicycle traffic models.