Cycling in the Stellenbosch area : improving the traffic situation and stimulating the use of non motorized transport

Jong, J.N. de (2008) Cycling in the Stellenbosch area : improving the traffic situation and stimulating the use of non motorized transport.

Abstract:A growing economy always goes hand in hand with a growing demand for transport. Because most of the time this demand is met by motorised modes, it causes problems related to congestion, pollution and safety. A possible solution to these problems is to encourage and improve the use of non motorised transport (NMT). That this is applicable worldwide, is demonstrated by the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) that operates in countries like India, Brazil and South Africa to promote cycling. The cooperation between BEN, the University of Twente and the University of Cape Town is the reason for this research. The focus of this research was on Stellenbosch, a city in South Africa. Stellenbosch was compared to Houten (in the Netherlands), where the city structure is designed in such a way that the cyclists are the “kings of the road”. The main objective of the research was to examine the potential for NMT in Stellenbosch. An analysis was executed to show the characteristics of Stellenbosch as well as of Houten. The most important advantage that Stellenbosch has is the grid-structure of the road network, which makes the city accessible for cyclists. However, at the moment this causes problems with through (motorised) traffic and parked cars. This is where the main characteristic of Houten becomes useful: a network where the cyclists have absolute priority and where the car driver is guest. Some roads are even closed for motorised transport (MT). The main differences between the two cities are the difference in age distribution and unemployment rates. A city with more young (< 30), unemployed people do require a different approach (because of less knowledge, less responsibility). To see how the actual traffic situation is in Stellenbosch, it is necessary to model the traffic flows (not done in this research). A requirement to make this possible is the availability of an origin/destination-matrix (OD-matrix). This has been created for the internal and external traffic flows into Stellenbosch. However, it turned out that with the available data it was not possible to create a sufficient valid one. It is needed to obtain more specific information to describe the different zones and to obtain a better distribution of the trips. Despite the invalid OD-matrix, it was still possible to work on the potential for NMT. With assumptions made for the average speed of transport modes (e.g. 16km/h for cycling) and income (e.g. people with an income >6000 rand per month never change their car for a bicycle) it was possible to ascribe new modes to the all the trips. The main source for all the trips information was the National Household Travel Survey 2003 (NHTS). The following table shows the potential for NMT: NMT 46.6% + 19.2 % 27.4% NMT (Non Motorised Transport) MT 49.4% - 19.2 % 68.6% MT (Motorised Transport) It was shown that there is a potential for NMT, which could involve much improvement for Stellenbosch. It was also shown that sufficient facilities need to be created for cyclists. However, the traffic has to be modelled to see what the actual situation is and to see what improvements are needed. This modelling can only be done if the right data and information is available and if this is combined with the right method.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
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