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Bernardo Campos Pereira | Novembro 2022

Cycling is currently recognised as a vital part of most developed sustainable urban mobility systems, contributing to acknowledged gains in climate change mitigation, health, social, economic, environmental, and travel speed issues, explaining in part its recent resurgence in cities worldwide. Despite the benefits, public policy on cycling has not developed smoothly. Many cities continue to stall or ignore effective output implementation to promote cycling as a legitimate mobility mode. Most research and policy focus on infrastructure solutions to implement change. This research, by contrast, focuses on an innovative approach to advance scholarship, namely how cyclists’ advocacy coalitions shape decision-making and place cycling on the political agenda where it was previously ignored or side-lined. The dissertation applies the concept of the advocacy coalition framework (ACF) to analyse the mechanisms which activate and sustain policy change. This thesis analyses the city of Lisbon in Portugal as a case-study of conurbation to analyse how change has been leveraged during the thirteen-year time frame between 2009 and 2021, using both detailed comparative analysis and advancing scholarship on cycling more generally. The qualitative analysis employs the scholarship, documents, notes taken from personal professional experience in policy formulation and implementation, and eleven anonymous interviews with policy actors involved to different extents in the process during the study period. These quantitative outcomes are gauged using available data from several surveys and counts to substantiate the relation between the outputs produced and outcomes achieved in combination with detailed data from cycle traffic moving counts I have carried out since 2009. The research structure is designed to provide insights on how the broad-based cyclists’ coalition has shaped policy formulation and implementation in a city where cycling had a low cultural status and low rates to generate ‘new knowledge’ regarding the subsystem in Portugal and other comparable contexts.

Filipe Moura, Gabriel Valença, Rosa Félix, David S. Vale | Agosto 2022

Bike-sharing systems allow occasional and regular users to move by replacing other transport modes for the same trip or generating a new journey. Our research assesses the demand for Lisbon’s public dock-based bike-sharing system (BSS) users named after GIRA. This paper aims to identify the determinant factors that influence the potential of the BSS to generate new trips or replace previous modes using a binary logit model based on a survey of 3112 BSS users. The survey results indicate that GIRA generated approximately 20% of the BSS trips, i.e., they would not have been realized if GIRA did not exist. The remaining BSS trips replaced other motorized (55%) and non-motorized (25%) trips. The main determinants explaining a higher likelihood of replacing other modes are having a yearly GIRA pass and a bike-sharing station within a 5-min walking distance. In contrast, regular car users are more likely to generate new trips, suggesting they use bike-sharing for recreational purposes. The findings provide policymakers with an assessment of the determinants that can influence bike-sharing users to generate or substitute trips from other modes for bike-sharing and, consequently, give policies to potentially increase bike-sharing mobility share.

Miguel Costa, Rosa Félix, Manuel Marques, Filipe Moura | Junho 2022

The 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak hit most countries and cities globally, dramatically impacting how people live during lockdown periods. Compulsorily, socioeconomic activities and mobility patterns changed while long-lasting structural changes might remain. Focusing on this very particular liminal event, this paper aims to present and analyze the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 virus lockdown on the behavior change of cyclists and previously non-cyclists in Lisbon, Portugal, knowing that no concomitant interventions occurred in the cycling environment during the period analyzed (e.g., pop-up interventions). From a 1-min questionnaire in 5 locations in Lisbon’s existing cycling lanes, we aimed to collect (n = 493) revealed preferences on cycling frequency before and after the lockdown, which we used to calibrate a weighted multinomial logit model to analyze respondents’ probability of increasing, maintaining, or decreasing their cycling frequency. Results suggest that people tended to cycle more often after the lockdown than before. For every five cyclists, two cycled more frequently while two others maintained their cycling frequency. Most cycling trips were recreational or to exercise, and these increased after the lockdown, while trips for work and school decreased, as expected. Moreover, the lower the individuals’ cycling frequency levels before the lockdown, the more they cycled after it. Our study diagnoses the impact of the lockdown on cycling habits, indicating an overall propensity to cycling more by the Lisbon citizens. Hence, authorities need to act and make quick infrastructural changes (e.g., pop-up cycling lanes) and encourage the population to use more bikes (e.g., financial incentives for bike purchases).

Miguel Padeiro | Junho 2022

Inequity of access to the cycling network may reinforce social disparities in health and access to resources and opportunities. This study aims to examine whether the area-level material deprivation index is associated with different levels of accessibility to Lisbon’s (i) cycling network and (ii) bike-sharing docking stations network. Independent t-tests were implemented, and regression models were performed to estimate the associations of the multiple deprivation index with each dependent bike lane and bike-sharing docking station variable, adjusting for covariates. The results confirm the hypothesis of a significant difference between the most and least deprived areas in terms of the presence of bike lanes and bike-sharing stations as well as in terms of coverage, distance, and connectivity of the both infrastructures. When covariates are controlled, a higher index of material deprivation is associated with (i) a lower presence of, greater distance to, and lower coverage of bike-sharing docking stations; and (ii) is not associated with the presence of, distance to, connectivity of, and coverage of cycle lane networks. Based on these findings, efforts should be directed to increase access to bike lanes and bike-sharing systems to more deprived areas.

Rosa Félix, Paulo Cambra, Filipe Moura | Junho 2020

Reliable and detailed data are required for the evaluation of pro-bike investments. Longitudinal studies that compare the cycling levels before and after interventions provide crucial information to policy design. In cities where cycling is starting to grow, little data is available. The expansion of the cycling network and the implementation of a public e-bike sharing system were an opportunity to conduct a before-after evaluation of the effects of these two policies in cycling levels, in Lisbon, Portugal. A “pen-and-paper” method for cyclists’ manual counts was refined and tested. Data was collected from 2016 to 2018 in the city center, where significant changes to the built environment took place, as well as in an external control area. Four different types of locations were observed regarding the existence of cycling infrastructure and bike-sharing service. Besides flow, data included gender, helmet use, and bicycle type. The results revealed a 3.5-fold growth between 2016 and 2017 when the segregated cycling network was expanded in the city center, and an added 2.5-fold growth between 2017 and 2018, after the bike-sharing launching. City-wide, from 2017 to 2018, women’s share increased from 16% to 22%, mostly driven by bike-sharing usage, while helmet use decreased from 45% to 30%. Bike-sharing accounted for 34% of all observed trips in 2018. Our findings suggest that “hard” measures to encourage cycling, such as cycling networks and bike-sharing systems, can have considerable impacts on raising levels of bicycle modal share in a low cycling maturity city. Furthermore, the method allowed to distinguish cyclists using their bicycles from those using the bike-sharing system. Hence, we could isolate the effects of the two measures – provision of infrastructure and implementation of the bike-sharing system. The method proved to be a simple and effective way for city authorities and practitioners to collect detailed baseline and follow up data.

Rosa Félix, Filipe Moura, Kelly J. Clifton | Dezembro 2019

Cities with low cycling maturity (LCM) are cities with a small cycling modal share and little cycling infrastructure. Despite the increasing public interest in cycling as travel mode, LCM cities are still prevalent in the western world, and few research has been developed on which are the barriers and what lead people to bicycle in this type of cities, that still are changing. This research explores the motivators and deterrents to bicycle in Lisbon (Portugal), a city with a cycling modal share below 1%, and compares the perceived barriers to cycling between cyclists and non-cyclists, as well as the triggers and motivators to start cycling between the same groups. Results from a survey (n = 1079) showed that both groups considered the issues related to the perception of safety, physical effort, the lack of a safe cycling network, and bicycle ownership as important barriers to take up cycling in Lisbon. We conclude that non-cyclists’ perceived barriers are similar to the barriers cyclists had before they changed behavior. In contrast, the self-reported triggers that induced cyclists to take up cycling are not similar to the expectations that non-cyclists have of what would, or could, change their behavior. Nevertheless, the expected motivators stated by non-cyclists are consistent with their perceived barriers, which are more community-oriented and not so much related to personal interests or needs. We analyzed the triggers for cycling for different generations of cyclists, taking into consideration specific public policies and infrastructure investments that promote bicycling. Triggers vary over time, and they should also change as cities transition to higher cycling maturity levels. This research and conclusions may support the design of policies in order to increase cycling levels in LCM cities by acknowledging the barriers and motivations of potential new cyclists and learn from current cyclists.