Citizens of Cologne choose bicycle as a mean of transport more than ever

The evaluation of the bicycle traffic counting stations in Cologne’s urban area has shown a further increase in the number of cyclists in Cologne for 2020 – a total of 14,212,358 wheel movements were measured at twelve permanent counting stations, around eleven percent more than in the previous year and a new all-time record. In addition, there are 1,356,215 wheel movements at the 13th permanent counting point at Universitätsstraße, which was newly established in spring 2020.

Andrea Blome, Member of the City of Cologne for Mobility and Real Estate said: “I am particularly pleased that more and more Cologne residents are opting for bicycles and that the trend is continuing to this extent. It shows us that the mobility transition is so lively. With a large number of measures, we have succeeded in making cycling more attractive and safer in recent years. I am aware, however, that we still have a long way to go to make up for the failures of the last few decades. The figures are therefore also a great incentive to continue on the path of consistent cycling promotion”.

The promotion of cycling is an essential part of the strategy for a sustainable transport system and clean air. In the short term, cycling has the greatest growth potential of all means of transport in the environmental association. Efforts to promote cycling have been intensified in recent years in order to achieve the goals of the strategy “Cologne mobil 2025” with a two-thirds share of the environmental network in the modal split. In recent years, the city of Cologne has implemented measures to promote cycling over more than 72 kilometers in the urban area. Also, in 2020, twice more money was spent on renovating cycle paths as in 2018 and 2019 combined.
26 road sections were converted into bicycle roads; this made it possible to expand the total length of the bicycle road network to 17.1 kilometers. The city of Cologne is planning a large number of measures to promote cycling in 2021.

Particularly noteworthy are the counting stations on Alfred-Schütte-Allee and on the Dutch shore. Here, the number of cyclists increased by 63 and 36 percent compared to the previous year. The people of Cologne are therefore increasingly using their bikes for leisure activities and cycling along the Rhine floodplains. There was a five percent decrease in cycle traffic on Alphons-Silbermann-Weg, which could be due to the reduction in classroom lectures at the university. A decrease of four percent can be noted at Neumarkt, which is presumably due to the closure of the shops.

On June 24, 2020, the permanent counting stations recorded an unprecedented peak value of 72,830 bike trips (80,590 individual bike movements per day with Universitätsstraße). This peak value is almost ten percent above the peak value from July 2019. Individual permanent counting stations have also reached new peak values: Alfred-Schütte-Allee with 7,629 trips, Vorgebirgspark with 2,021, Alphons-Silbermann-Weg with 9,106, Dutch bank with 8,027, Vorgebirgswall with 5,671, Venloer Straße with 9,774 and Bonner Straße with 4,994 journeys.

The permanent counting station on Universitätsstrasse, which was newly established in March 2020, counts an average of 4,491 cyclists per day and has a current peak of 7,760 cycling trips. Since this permanent counting point was set up at the beginning of the corona pandemic, it remains to be seen how much bicycle traffic will be added with full presence at the university.

The city of Cologne is planning a further 80 new permanent counting stations for motorized traffic and bicycle traffic. This is intended to precisely record traffic volumes and check the results.