The Power of Cycling Infrastructure in Smart Cities

Why are Smart Cities Focusing on Smart Bicycle Infrastructure?

Cities around the world have steadily been evolving into “smart cities,” using technology to improve the efficiency and quality of life of their citizens and thereby supporting more affordable and sustainable mobility choices.

According to researchers,  the more forward-thinking of these cities have been considering bike users as crucial players in their designs and consequently looking to develop cycling infrastructure.

 “You can look at all the great cities in the USA right now, and they are all enacting specific targeted plans to increase the convenience of bicycling,” says Jason Moore, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at University of California, Davis,

Evidently, smart cities often tend to be bicycle friendly cities, which makes sense given smart cities’ emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency.

From reduced greenhouse gas emissions to a minimized carbon footprint, cycling has long been proven to be an eco-friendly mode of transportation.

Beyond sustainability, cycling also increases efficiency by allowing urban areas to reduce traffic, with less cars on the road. Clearly, when it comes to transportation options, cycling comes with myriad benefits.

Naturally, then, smart city planners who value environmental friendliness and efficiency would do well to promote cycling in their cities.

The best way to do that? Cycling infrastructure.

It’s simple: to get more cyclists on the road, you need to provide more cycling infrastructure. Without a safe place to ride or secure place(s) to park, cyclists will be wary of getting their bikes out on the road and, no matter how smart your city is, it will be missing out on a huge opportunity for expanding its efficiency and eco-friendliness.

Beyond providing traditional cycling infrastructure, a rise in eBike popularity suggests cities need to invest in electric Bike-specific infrastructure, as well, such as charging stations for eBikes.

According to this Bicycling.com article, while 608,000 electric vehicles and trucks were sold in 2021, more than 880,000 electric bikes were also purchased. That’s almost double the estimated 450,000 e-bikes that were sold in 2020. The article goes on to state that eBikes have also surpassed traditional bikes in popularity, with a 240% growth in sales in 2021.

Clearly, electric bikes aren’t going anywhere – and that’s a good thing. There are so many benefits of eBikes – from environmental benefits for the planet to health benefits for riders.

eBikes provide much of the same mental and physical health benefits of traditional cycling, but are less physically intensive, making them easier to use and allowing cyclists to ride them more often to work, for example, since they won’t have to worry about arriving sweaty or disheveled.

As Panasonic put it, “While all two-wheeled vehicles offer a healthier commute than riding on cars or on rails, eBikes provide low impact exercise, making them a viable option for those of all ages and fitness levels.”

The electric component of eBikes also lends itself to greater connectivity – something smart cities put a tremendous value on. As this article explains, “within the smart city, the smart bike takes on its full meaning. The increase in equipment and internet access within the city, with the arrival and spread of 5G, is rolling out the red carpet for naturally connected mobility.” 

To get more people riding and to reap these benefits, city planners need to give cyclists a secure place to charge eBikes.

With worldwide power options and a secure locker for users’ personal chargers, our eBike Charging Station is the perfect charging solution.

Now, eBike users can confidently enjoy their ride, knowing that convenient and secure bike charging and parking awaits them at their destination.

When combined with products like the Wave Delineator creating a designated safe space to ride, or standard commercial racks providing all cyclists with secure parking, traditional and eBike riders alike can effectively be made to feel welcome in your smart city.  

It’s no coincidence that Copenhagen, the World’s Most Bike Friendly City, has also been deemed the World’s Most Livable City. A bike friendly city is a livable city, and a livable city is a smart city.

Check out the infographic below for a more visual look at how cycling infrastructure – and eBikes specifically – fit into the smart cities of the future.

 

With eBike charging stations that offer a secure place to charge electric bikes, standard parking racks that provide all cyclists with a safe space to park, Wave Delineators that create designated spaces to ride, repair stations that allow for easy maintenance on the go, and more – Saris Infrastructure is the go-to for smart cities focusing on smart bicycle infrastructure.

Ready to discover the benefits cycling infrastructure can have for your smart city? Contact us now.