Towards a comprehensive safety evaluation of cycling infrastructure including objective and subjective measures

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Cycling infrastructure has been implemented worldwide to promote bicycle use and to minimize injury risk. A comprehensive evaluation of such infrastructure is required to assess its success. In terms of safety, assessments ideally focus on both objective and subjective parameters. This study explores the application of a combined objective-subjective safety assessment approach in a pre-post analysis of a left-turning bicycle box in Zurich, Switzerland. A computer-based video technology was used to objectively measure passing distance between bicycles turning left and continuing motor vehicles passing on the right. In an in-situ survey perceived safety while crossing the intersection and a photo-based assessment of the intersection were collected as indicators of subjective safety. Median passing distance between bicycles and motor vehicles did not significantly change after the implementation of the bicycle box, but the shortest distances were increased. Perceived safety while crossing the intersection was significantly higher after marking the bicycle box, which is consistent with safety expectations expressed based on photos with and without left-turning box. Gender and general perception of traffic safety within the city are significant determinants of expected and perceived intersection safety. Women expect greater safety gains from the left-turning box (photo based), but its effect on perceived safety when actually crossing the intersection does not differ between genders. While the applied video technology is not yet practice-ready, it shows great potential to complement cycling safety evaluations, in combination with self-reported perceived safety indicators.




Götschi, T., Castro, A., Deforth, M., Miranda-Moreno, L., & Zangenehpour, S. (2018). Towards a comprehensive safety evaluation of cycling infrastructure including objective and subjective measures. Journal of Transport and Health, 8, 44–54.

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