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GRandall-Trip End Facilities for Cyclists (SAICE Journal)


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GRandall-Trip End Facilities for Cyclists (SAICE Journal)

  1. 1. End-of-Trip Facilities for Cyclists and Realignment of Current South African Bicycle Legislation G Randall, L Roodt Globally cycling is on the increase. Cities are recognising the benefits that cycling can offer as a sustainable solution to reduce congestion, improve the health of those who cycle while at the same time reducing the impact on the environment. Cycling Cities have become synonymous with improved quality of life and cycling is no longer seen as transport for the poor, but rather transport for all. Since the 1940’s cycling has slowly declined in favour of private cars and cheap fuel. In the last two decades however, regeneration and reurbanisation has helped citizens live closer to their destinations and reducing the need to travel long distances. This desire to live in urban areas provides a real opportunity to re-invent the bicycle as a primary mode of transport and the time has come to ‘re-cycle’ cities. The number of active cyclists in South African cities is growing, although the development of bicycle-focussed guidance is reactive rather than proactive. The appetite for cycling is apparent, with the number of bicycle shops and associated commercial activities on the increase, e.g. bike hire, cycling tours, bicycle cafés. Increased congestion levels in the primary cities as well as the operating costs of car ownership has lead to commuters considering alternative modes such as public transport or cycling. Traditional planning legislation requires all new developments to provide vehicular parking to cater for the anticipated use. However, at present, little legislation exists to encourage/compel new developments to provide bicycle parking and bicycle facilities, which could greatly promote the use of NMT. This paper therefore explores the current South African legislation relating to car parking and bicycles and highlights potential inhibitors to creating a modal shift towards NMT. The need to provide more End-of-Trip Facilities (EOTF) for cyclists (and/or other NMT users) is highlighted, which (apart from travel distance) is believed to be one of the most important criteria towards whether a commuter would chose to journey to the workplace by bicycle versus continue to use their private vehicle. A case study of an existing business complex without any EOTF’s is given, and the behavioural change measured following the introduction of an EOTF is analysed. INTRODUCTION The current South African planning regulations require a Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) to determine the traffic impact of a land development proposal and whether such a development can be accommodated by the transportation system. In terms of the Municipal Systems Act (Act No 32 of 2000) Municipalities are empowered to govern, on it’s own initiative, all local affairs of it’s community, subject to national and provincial legislation. The Municipality is therefore responsible for the master planning required to accommodate developments (TMH 16, Vol2, 2012).
  2. 2. Within any TIA, parking provision and design is discussed as it is an essential requirement for most developments. In South Africa, parking is required at a minimum rate, based on the characteristic of the particular land use, typically size or number of employees in the case of Office developments. These minimum rates vary greatly between municipalities and most do not mention bicycle parking. It is apparent that the current parking guideline documents used by Municipal Officials are out of sync with international best practice as they exclude parking provision for commuters using alternative modes (motorcycle/bicycle/electric car). No incentives currently exist for developers to provide parking/facilities for these alternative modes and, as a consequence, they are mostly ignored. This paper therefore explores the current guidelines and recommends possible changes to include minimum bicycle parking provision together with the appropriate EOTF. WHAT IS AN END OF TRIP FACILITY (EOTF)? Within the context of this paper, an EOTF includes bicycle parking in the form of a secure lockup (ideally non-intrusive and within the main building structure), lockers and showers/changing rooms. It is a designated place that supports cyclists and joggers who travel to work via alternative means of transport rather than driving or taking public transport. EOTF’s are typically located within the workplace for use by people who cycle or run/walk to work and the inclusion of such facilities are becoming more commonplace in new office buildings. Internationally, EOTF’s are being implemented either through building regulation requirements or commercial (marketing) opportunities. In South Africa, however, EOTF’s are mostly implemented for commercial gain where developers use EOTF’s as a differentiator to their competitors or as an opportunity to gain additional “Green” credentials, which can also result in marketing opportunities. Studies has shown that the type and quality of an EOTF would influence their modal choice (Morse, 2014). For example, having a secure, covered bike rack and shower at work could encourage an employee to cycle instead of using his/her private car. Alternatively, an employee who currently enjoys cycling, could choose a place of employment based on both the ability to cycle to work, and the quality of the bicycle facilities. The quality of the EOTF could, for some employees, be the deciding factor between choosing a particular employer, should the EOTF be significantly better than the other. (Morse, 2014) Photo by Laurent Hermant Photo by Laurent Hermant Secure Bicycle Lockup at Queensland Government Building, Brisbane Secure Lockers at Queensland Government Building, Brisbane
  3. 3. WHY SHOULD EMPLOYERS DEVELOP BICYCLE END-OF-TRIP FACILITIES? There are several benefits to both employers and employees in having bicycle parking and appropriate EOTFs in the workplace. Some benefits include:  A potential reduction in overall parking provision for new developments (assuming the relevant parking policies are in place and adopted). Up to 10 bicycles can be parked in the equivalent space of 1 car. (Cyclehoop, 2015) Bicycle parking can therefore easily be retrofitted utilising available space or occupying 1-2 parking bays;  Attracting and retaining healthy and environmentally conscious employees. Cycling, in general offers significant health benefits. Studies have shown that cycling regularly can reduce or prevent heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and depression;  Environmental benefits due to reduced vehicle trips. TomTom’s annual global traffic index for 2013 ranked Cape Town as the most congested city in South Africa and 33rd in the world (TomTom, 2014). The increasing levels of congestion within cities is not a unique issue and the bicycle continues to play an important role in kerbing this problem; and  Projecting a positive and environmentally conscious image. Awards such as the Green Star SA developed by Green Building Council of South Africa recognises and rewards environmental leadership in the property industry which encourages sustainable buildings, of which EOTF forms an integral part. CURRENT SOUTH AFRICAN STANDARDS Photos by Laurent Hermant Good Signage at Queensland Government Building, Brisbane Shower Facilities at Queensland Government Building, Brisbane Image source:
  4. 4. Vehicle parking is an important and integral part of the transportation system in any metropolitan area. The provision of parking is expensive and the importance of providing the correct allocation has been well documented. Over provision encourages the use of the private car, which ultimately places additional pressure on the road network. Under provision, on the other hand, can result in overflow, which could lead to increased illegal parking on the sidewalks and in the road reserve. Internationally, there has been a change from minimum to maximum parking standards for vehicles and the inclusion of minimum bicycle parking and EOTFs (Planning Policy Guidance 13: Transport, 2006). These revised parking standards are therefore aligned with overarching NMT strategies/policies and actively discourage private car use while at the same time incentivising other sustainable modes, including bicycles. A summary of the current parking (vehicle and bicycle) standards for the four largest metropolitan areas (viz. Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg) within South Africa is given below: City Planning Authority Guideline Document Relevant Car and Bicycle Guidance National Department of Transport Department of Transport Parking Standards, 1985  No mention of bicycle parking or facilities. Cape Town Transport for Cape Town (TCT) City of Cape Town Zoning Scheme Regulations, 2014  Council may require that parking be provided for motorcycles and bicycles;  For every four motorcycle and six bicycle parking spaces provided, a reduction of one parking bay may be given (up to a maximum of 2.5% of the total provision). Durban eThekwini Transport Authority (ETA) Town Planning Regulations, 2010  A reduction of car parking provision is permissible (maximum 10%);  No mention of bicycle parking or facilities. Pretoria City of Tshwane Tshwane Town Planning Scheme, 2008  A reduction of car parking provision is permissible;  No mention of bicycle parking or facilities. Johannesburg City of Johannesburg Consolidated Johannesburg Town Planning Scheme, 2011  A reduction of car parking provision is permissible;  No mention of bicycle parking or facilities. Table 1 - Summary of Car and Bicycle Parking Guidelines A summary of the research showed that only the City of Cape Town currently makes provision for bicycle parking, although no cities provided any guidance on the provision of EOTF's. END-OF-TRIP CASE STUDY In order to establish the willingness of commuters to cycle to work, it was necessary to conduct commuter observations in a typical office environment. Based on several screening criteria, Hatch Goba (Pty) Ltd, an engineering consultancy firm, situated within the business complex was selected for the survey. The Cape Town Hatch Goba (Pty) Ltd office comprises of 58 employees and is approximately 18km east of Cape Town Central Business District (CBD). The location of the building in relation to the surrounding area is shown in Figure 1 along with the existing cycle network.
  5. 5. Figure 1 – Office Location and Existing Bicycle Network Prior to the start of the survey no employees cycled to work, with 92% using their private car to travel to work, with a further 5% being a car passenger. Motorcycles accounted for the remaining 3% of employees. The survey commenced on Friday, 1st of August 2014 following an email to all Hatch Goba (Pty) Ltd employees encouraging them to use the dedicated male and female shower and changing facility. The survey terminated on Thursday the 30th of April 2015 and the results are shown in Figure 2. Office Park Location N Legend Recommended Bicycle Route Existing Class 3 Cycle Route Image Source: Google Earth
  6. 6. Figure 2 – EOTF Monthly Usage (August 2014 – April 2015) During the 9-month long survey a total of 13 unique EOTF users were identified, 8 of which were Hatch Goba (Pty) Ltd employees who only started making use of the facility after the announcement that an EOTF was available for use. It indicates that through positive marketing the usage of the EOTF increased by 2.6 times. The case study provides clear evidence that without the existence of an EOTF, these trips would have been made by a private vehicle. Influence of Weather The maximum and minimum temperatures, wind speed and precipitation were obtained for all weekdays throughout the survey period and Figure 3 shows the temperature extract for the month of October 2014. The results indicate that no cycle trips were made on the coldest days (9th and 17th October 2014) and generally indicates that cyclists prefer to cycle on warmer days.
  7. 7. Figure 3 – Temperature Variance October 2014 A similar exercise was undertaken for wind speed and precipitation and the results indicated that the days with highest wind speeds generally coincided with days when no cyclists were observed. During the month of October 2014, precipitation occurred on 4 working days and similarly no cycle trips were made on those days. Distance to Work Figure 4 shows the office location together with the home locations of Hatch Goba employees. The red dots indicate employees who never cycled to work, the yellow dots refer to employees who cycled occasionally (once a month) and the green dots are employees who cycled regularly (once a week). The figure indicates that 8 of the 58 (14%) employees live within a commutable cycle distance (<5km) to the office (red shaded area). Of the 8 employees within the shaded area, 3 started to cycle to work (green dots). NumberofCycleTrips
  8. 8. Figure 4 – Staff within 5km Radius of Office In summary, the study indicated that through the introduction of an EOTF, 14% of employees chose to cycle at least once during the survey period. Only 3 of the 8 cyclists live closer than 5km to the office indicating that employees were prepared to cycle further than 5km to work. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The research undertaken has identified shortfalls in the current South African planning legislation with regard to NMT and bicycle provision. There is a need for stricter obligations to be placed on municipalities to promote the cycling agenda where appropriate. The following shortfalls were identified  South African car parking standards prescribe a minimum provision, despite international best practice recommending a maximum provision as the primary method to reduce the dependence on the private car;  Bicycle Parking Standards could only be found in one of the larger cities within South Africa;  Currently it is not mandatory for new or extended office developments to provide bicycle parking or associated EOTF's; The case study undertaken highlighted that the introduction of a dedicated male and female changing room and shower facility together with some marketing, 14% of staff cycled to work at least once during the survey period. These trips would otherwise have been made by private vehicle. It is concluded that the introduction of the EOTF has benefited some employees who now have an option to cycle to work.
  9. 9. The following recommendations is made:  EOTFs should be legislated as a mandatory requirement for all new office developments. The level of provision should depend on the size of the development and number of employees;  Appropriate guidance should be made available showcasing examples of good practice together with minimum facilities to encourage high quality facilities;  It is essential that bicycle parking design and EOTFs be included in the early planning stages of any new office development to ensure space requirements, access by bicycle and integration within the building are considered;  Recommended and minimum EOTFs should be included in the Draft National NMT Transport Policy and relevant municipal guidelines. REFERENCES Bester, CJ, 2012. Parking Standards that can work in South Africa. Buehler, R. & Pucher, J., 2011. Cycling to Work in 90 Large American Cities: New Evidence on the Role of Bike Paths and Lanes. Volume 39, Issue 2, pg 409-432. Committee of Transport Officials, 2012. South African Traffic Impact and Site Traffic Assessment Standard and Requirements Manual. Communities and Local Government, 2006. Planning Policy Guidance 13: Transport. City of Cape Town, 2013. Draft Parking Policy for the City of Cape Town. City of Cape Town, 2014. Zoning Scheme Regulations. City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, 2011. Consolidated Johannesburg Town Planning Scheme. City of Tshwane, Part 5 - Parking and Loading Facilities Cycling SA, 2010. Long Term Athlete Development – Cycling – Volume 1. Department of Transport, 1985. Parking Standards, second edition. eThekwini Municipality, 2010. Town Planning Regulations – Schedule of Guidelines for off- street Parking. Morse, A, 2014. Why we Need More End of Trip Facilities, Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works, 2014. End-of-trip facilities. TomTom, 2014. Global Traffic Index - The National Treasury, 2000. Municipal Systems Act No32.
  10. 10. Author Information Contact Details: 13 Hiddingh Square Edgemead Cape Town 7441 Tel: +27 (21) 558 8074 Email: Glen Randall is a Civil Engineer specialising in Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning and a member of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering. Glen graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1998 and worked the bulk of his career in the United Kingdom where he has gained extensive knowledge on Non- motorised Transport. He returned to South Africa in 2009 and has since been involved in a variety of transportation projects in Cape Town and Durban. Glen’s transport interests lie in improving walking and cycling facilities and to reduce the dependence on the private car for short trips by promoting cycling initiatives. Having a sound engineering background, he is well positioned to identify practical transport solutions to promote sustainable developments and infrastructure improvements.