Research projects

Bikeways quality mapping index for Curitiba

Student

Paul Schilte

Project type

Bachelor assignment

Study

Civil Engineering (bachelor)

Period

April-June 2016

Host

SETRAN

UT supervisor

Karst Geurs (CTW)

Local supervisor

Thais Martins (UTFPR)

Summary

The research will be performed in Curitiba, a fast growing city in the state of Parana (PR) in southern Brazil of 1.9 million inhabitants. In the last 50 years, the population of Curitiba has quadrupled and this has significant consequences. At the time of the huge growth of the population, the individual motorized transport became affordable for the middle class. This was the reason why almost everybody got a car. Because of that, there was no need for public transport facilities. Nowadays the roads are overcrowded and there is little space to add new roadways. It has already been proven that adding more roadways is not the solution to reduce the traffic jams, because it will only lead to more people buying an individual motorized transport. So there is need for another solution, to get  more people to use non-motorized transports, like bicycles, or public transport, like busses.

There is need for a change from cars and motorcycles to other types of vehicles. In this thesis the focus will lie on increasing the bicycle use in Curitiba. Therefore the existing bicycles roads and parking facilities for bicycles need to be and will be validated. The set objectives are reached by answering the following three research questions:

1) How bicycle friendly are the cycle routes in Curitiba?

2) How much inhabitants of Curitiba have access to the bicycle network and what is their position in the society?

3) What kinds of places have facilities to store bicycles and how are these facilities distributed throughout the city? 

 

Mapping Bicycle friendly areas for the city of Curitiba – Brazil

Student

Bruno Motta

Project type

Master assignment

Study

Civil Engineering (master)

Period

May-June 2016

Host

SETRAN

UT supervisor

Karst Geurs (CTW)

Local supervisor

Tatiana Gadda (UTFPR)

Summary

This research composes the Master Thesis of the student from the MSc Civil Engineering & Management programme at University of Twente, Bruno Guasti Motta. The investigation comprises a collaboration effort between the Transport department at University of Twente and the Civil Engineering department at Technical University of Parana (UTFPR, in Portuguese). The research conducted by the aforementioned student and supervised by Dr Ing. Karst Geurs (UTwente), Dr Ing. John Pritchard (UTwente), and Prof Tatiana Gadda (UTFPR).

The research aims to identify within the city of Curitiba, areas that are more propitious and less propitious for cycling, according with specific population segments and based on built environment characteristics by using Geographic Information System (GIS) data. In order to identify bicycle friendly areas, it will be computed a bikeability index using the following variables: Residential Density, Mixed Land-use, Type of Infrastructure, Topography and Safety. The index will be represented in a form of a map, highlighting areas that are more and less propitious for using bicycle for transportation purposes.

To assess the different aspects of bicycle commuting, evaluate the proposed variable to compute the bikeability index, and to categorize the different types of bicycle infrastructures present in the city, two distinct groups will be separated based on income level: one group with higher income and other with lower income. The objective is to analyse how distinct population segments perceives and evaluates the different aspects of bicycle use. To collect the responses of those groups, an online survey will be conducted, together with face-to-face discussions. The student will conduct the data collection phase in situ, for a period of two months.

In addition, an evaluation of the types of infrastructure will be made to attest its effectiveness in improve the overall bikeability of determined region, contrasting the effects of different types of infrastructure on the index, and its respective implementation costs. The objective of this specific sub-question is compare the implementation of different types of cycling infrastructures (e.g. bicycle path and shared bicycle lane) with people’s perceptions on bicycle use, and its effects on the index. Results might show that a less expensive intervention can also increase the bikeability of the region to a good level.

This investigation aims to contribute for the expansion of bicycle network infrastructure in Curitiba, by presenting based on built environment characteristics, areas that are more propitious and less propitious for cycling, in a theoretically-based manner, according with different population segments. The main purpose is to offer a diagnosis of the existent cycling conditions of Curitiba, by applying the bikeability index tool, without neglecting local characteristics concerning utilitarian cycling. By knowing the perceptions of different socio-economic groups is also important to propose effective actions to increase cycling conditions on both higher and lower income areas.

 

 

 

Student

Deliang Gao

Project type

Master assignment

Study

Urban planning and management

Period

August 2016 to March 2017

Host

 Prof. Tatiana Gadda

UT supervisor

Anna Grigolon and Mark Brussel

Local supervisor

Prof. Tatiana Gadda

Summary

In recent years, Curitiba is experiencing an increase in the usage of cycling as a mode of transport. Consequently, the number of accidents involving cyclists have also increased. A spatial analysis of cycling accidents would allow a location analysis and the identification of spatial patterns. In addition, after the identification of clusters of accidents, urban design aspects are to be assessed in order to confirm whether improvements related to cycling safety could be realized. The results of this research could therefore be useful in future studies on cycling infrastructure planning in Curitiba.

 

 

Designing for appropriate bicycle stalls and increasing safety

Student

Cedric Rodriguez and Katya Langeveld

Project type

Minor

Study

Industrial design (bachelor)

Period

July 2016-January 2017

Host

SETRAN

UT supervisor

Marten Toxopeus (CTW) and Maya van den Berg (IGS)

Local supervisor

André Turbay (PUCPR)

Summary

The aim of this project is to design a bicycle rack for the city of Curitiba. To get a better understanding of the needs and demands of the city, but most important of the cyclists a research is done. This research focusses on the cycling culture and behaviour of the cyclists in Curitiba, but also analyses the current bicycle racks. The outcome of this research was a problem definition which is used as starting point for the ideation phase. The problem that came out of the research did, surprisingly, not focus on the current design of the bicycle rack, but focused on the accessibility of the bicycle racks. The current bicycle racks are not used very often, because their location is not near the destinations of cyclists. Resulting in a use of other objects in the streets as bicycle rack, for example traffic poles, benches and flower pots.

Knowing this the ideation phase focused on the use of current ‘obstacles’ in the streets that could be adapted to an ideal bicycle rack. Every obstacle is analyzed and being searched for solutions to make it a better bicycle rack. During this ideation phase the knowledge of the city and its systems became bigger and the preference of pedestrians became clear. This is where the idea came from to integrate a bench with a bicycle rack. In this way the bicycle rack will not be an obstacle for pedestrians, which is how it is seen often in Curitiba. Another idea was to improve the traffic poles, which are currently often used as bicycle rack. This improvement would make sure that the bicycle stands firmly and in the right direction (parallel to the road and the sidewalk). With this object could also be made clear which traffic poles can and can’t be used. Due to their location or the stability of a specific traffic pole.

The initial idea was to develop the bench and the attachment to the traffic pole, but due to time limitations the choice is made to develop the bench. Institutes were more enthusiastic about this product and because they are the ones installing it the bench would improve the accessibility more.

The final design is a result from a development phase focusing on strength, ease of use, geometry, sustainability and costs. Due to these aspects some changes had to be made. The geometry of the bench, for example, should fit pedestrians, but most importantly should fit the majority of bicycles in Curitiba. Therefor some changes are made to grab the wheel of the bicycle at the most ideal place. The material of the outer slats is also changed from wood to metal profiles. In this way the slats could be smaller and they are stronger.

This project is a very realistic project due to all the different parties involved and the possibility to install a prototype in the city. Due to this the product should be completely functional, otherwise it will not stand against weather conditions or vandalism. The final product is not completely ready for real implementation, but the development needed is stated in the recommendations. This includes a last design iteration that could not be made due to a lack of time.

 

 

Designing for appropriate bicycle stalls and increasing safety

Student

Cedric Rodriguez and Katya Langeveld

Project type

Minor

Study

Industrial design (bachelor)

Period

July 2016-January 2017

Host

SETRAN

UT supervisor

Marten Toxopeus (CTW) and Maya van den Berg (IGS)

Local supervisor

André Turbay (PUCPR)

Summary

The safety of cyclists is a topic that should be paid attention to very well and with this project a proposition is made to contribute to this safety of cyclists. In Curitiba, but also in the rest of Brazil, the amount of deaths in traffic is shockingly high. In the period from 2013 until 2015 40 cyclists died in traffic, so this does not even include the deaths of pedestrians and car drivers. 

Another motive for the need for a safer situation for cyclists is to promote cycling. Curitiba is a big city with a huge amount of people traveling to and from the center every day. Most of those people use cars and the other mode of transportation used often is public transportation. In the peak hours the cars create a massive traffic jam and the busses are overcrowded. If cycling becomes a more important mode of transportation this could reduce amount of cars and with that the major traffic jams. 

The structure used to research the current situation and develop solutions is divided in a macro- and microscale. The microscale contains general problems and solutions, whom are consistent for all crossings, which can be used as guideline for redesigns of other crossings. Other types of problems and solutions are on a more detailed level and are specific per crossing. 

On a macroscale is focused on the current traffic flows going through the certain areas and if this is in line with the type of zone the certain neighborhood is. Most of the time this was not the case and to relieve the areas that are residential and contain a cycle path, the big corridor of car and bus travel is moved to another bigger road. This also relieves the block in front of PUCPR, which is an area with a high density of pedestrians for which the new situation is much safer. To create a more local feeling in the residential area all the streets are made two directional. In this case the drivers have to pay more attention and cannot drive too fast. 

The general solutions on a microscale contain a sequence in the division of the different modes of traffic. This will be cars in the middle, than a cycle path or lane and after that the pedestrian area. In this way the pedestrians will be protected the best. To protect the cyclists as well the parking lane is placed between the cycle path and the car lane. Also the zebras are only used on local roads in combination with a lifted area to ensure a safe situation. 

All these general solutions are used at every crossing. Some crossings needed some specific changes as well, like changement in alignment or adding an exclusive bus lane. 

Promoting the use of the bike sharing system in Curitiba

Student

Luisa Sanchez Diez

Project type

Internship

Study

Communication sciences (bachelor)

Period

March 2017 -  June 2017

Host

URBS

UT supervisor

Mark Tempelman (BMS)

Local supervisor

André Turbay (PUCPR)

Summary

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