All over Denmark path bars have been established in order to calm traffic on the paths and to make sure that cyclists are aware of crossing traffic. These bars are placed, when e.g. the cycle path crosses the road. The purpose of bars is to improve traffic safety, but many cyclists have indicated that bars on the paths are inconvenient to pass by on a bike, and especially if the bike is followed by a bicycle trailer.
In order to maintain a high level of traffic safety, and at the same time do it more convenient for the cyclists to go by bike on the paths, a test where path bars are replaced with humps has been made in Lystrup near Århus in Denmark.
When path bars are changed with humps, it also solves another problem the bars create. The path bars have caused great inconvenience for the vehicles used to maintenance and snow removal. By using humps instead of bars the vehicles easy can get access to the path system.
The pilot project has been developed and carried out of the Municipality of Århus in cooperation with COWI. In March 2010 humps at two path crossings with two-way cycle tracks in Lystrup along Bygaden and Skæringsvej were established. The path humps were established with markings as the figure illustrates.
In order to assess the project, an evaluation of the effects of the project has been made. The behaviour of cyclists has been studied before and after the implementation of the humps on paths and the marking. Besides the behavioural studies registered by use of a video camera, manual registration and a roadside interview survey with cyclists, who have crossed the hump, have been conducted.
The behavioural studies show that the cyclists stop later in pedalling. Fewer cyclists stop or reduce the speed until the roadside, since it is not necessary when the bar is away. However, there are several that are running smoothly until the roadside. The reason probably is that it feels more natural to drive smoothly until the roadside, after the path humps have been established.
The number of cyclists, who orient to both sides, has increased. This indicates that attention and vigilance of the cyclists are increased by replacing bars with humps, while the conditions of the cyclists become better. Generally, there is a positive perception of the path humps among the cyclists. The interviewed cyclists point out that the humps result in a greater comfort and less inconvenience to the cyclists.