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Analysis and Development of a New Insight into the Substitution of Short Car Trips by Cycling and Walking

European Union
Complete with results
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues,
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Active mobility


Background & Policy context

The growing demand for passenger and goods transport is creating congestion, the need for greater safety measures and environmental problems in urban areas. A switch to non-motorised modes offers the potential to reduce such impacts while improving health and city life.


ADONIS aimed to provide general recommendations and guidelines regarding good practice to promote cycling and walking instead of short car trips in cities. The main audiences are planners and policy-makers at local, regional, national and European levels.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission; Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN; formerly DG VII)
Type of funding
Public (EU)


ADONIS has produced a report and CD-ROM that include:

  • the first comprehensive European catalogue of (42) measures concerning walking;
  • a compilation of (60) innovative measures to promote cycling, as a complement to existing catalogues of basic measures.

These measures include both technical solutions (such as infrastructure changes) and non-technical actions (such as education and planning). The relevance of the measures are mapped onto specific situations by considering:

  • the extent to which a city already has certain measures in place;
  • the extent to which cycling and walking are already used;
  • the need to address two distinct groups - those who are, and are not, accustomed to cycling and walking.

Recommendations for all cities include:

  • improving home delivery services;
  • introducing secure types of bicycle parking;
  • introducing bicycle registration programmes;
  • making it possible to insure bicycles against theft;
  • increasing the number of parking places for bicycles and decreasing the number for cars;
  • using awareness campaigns aimed at behavioural and attitudinal changes towards cars;
  • stimulating the creation and participation of cyclist and pedestrian organisations;
  • targeting travellers to/from schools and educational centres, in order to influence transport habits at an early stage.

Surveys of people’s behaviour and attitudes to mode choice in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Copenhagen showed that:

  • walking is mainly considered for trips under 1 km, while cycling competes with cars for trips up to 5 km;
  • the main factor which appeared to encourage the use of the car was comfort;
  • safety and bicycle security are major concerns, while non-cyclists also fear an increase in travel time if they switch to cycling.

Policy implications

Walking and cycling require clear recognition within local and national transport policies and plans. This particularly requires changes with regard to walking, which enjoys little public advocacy (e.g. by lobby groups).

The choice of measures is largely dependent on the local situation. However, certain recommendations can be made regardless of the situation:

  • for Government:

    • develop specific policies for walking and cycling, especially in terms of urban traffic priority and support for complementary public transport;
    • encourage employers, factories and shops to provide sufficient and safe cycle parking;
    • encourage shops to provide (free) delivery of goods.
  • for transport planners:
    • use catalogues such as ADONIS to understand what package of measures would be most appropriate in a particular local situation, and in what order it could be introduced.

Measures specifically highlighted are:

  • to appoint a pedestrian and cyclist officer to advocate and promote change in the city;
  • to promote incentives that make drivers experience the benefits of cycling and walking (e.g. Car Free Days);
  • to control car speeds by appropriate restrictions and/or enforcement.

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