Evaluation Fiets FilevrijMuConsult
The Fiets Filevrij project intends to tempt drivers to exchange their cars for a bicycle over slightly longer distances. So far this cannot really be substantiated, the evaluation proves.
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The Fiets Filevrij project is conducted by Fietsersbond and the road maintenance authorities concerned. The Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management has contributed funds for process management. The aim of the project is to realise bicycle routes in congested areas in order to substantially influence car use. For the first series of filevrij projects five routes have been selected in 2007: Apeldoorn-Deventer, Zoetermeer-Den Haag, Delft-Rotterdam, Zaandam-Amsterdam and Breukelen-Utrecht. In addition three regions managed to acquire funding for similar projects in parliament: Arnhem-Nijmegen, Leiden-Den Haag and Purmerend-Amsterdam. Common characteristic of the routes is that they run more or less parallel to major car routes, over the territory of the various road maintenance authorities and are some 10 to 20 kilometres long. The nature of the adaptations to the routes varies, but often this concerns improving existing infrastructure, with occasional more drastic measures like an additional underpass or construction of a missing stretch of bike path. New asphalt and lighting are also often included. Counts have shown that the number of cyclists on most routes has increased considerably. On the route Rotterdam-Delft the number of cyclists has grown by 17 per cent each year over the past two years, between Maarssen and Breukelen by 8 per cent. Moreover cyclists turn out to be highly satisfied with the improvements and to appreciate the route more, particularly when many measures have been taken. The appreciation of the route Amsterdam-Zaandam rose for instance from 5.8 to 6.5. Have people started cycling more thanks to the improvements, and has this occurred at the expense of cars? Of cyclists riding these routes in 2009 8% has switched from car to bicycle. Half of these never rode a bicycle before, the other half did but is cycling more often. Of all cyclists interviewed who cycled more, three-quarters indicate this is caused by a change of job or residence. The rest states that issues such as more exercise or flexibility as regards departure times are the major reason to cycle. Only a handful of cyclists took to their bicycles because the route has become faster (15% of new cyclists) or because of improvements to road surface (7%), safety (6%) or lighting (2%).