The formerly East German town - with well over 200,000 inhabitants - infers the growth of bicycle use from a survey by Dresden University among 638 households, a mobility study carried out every five years.
The data prove that the percentage of cycling rose from 8.7 per cent to 20.2 per cent from 1998 to 2008. The percentage of public transport in combination with cycling and walking increased from 58.5 per cent to 64.6 per cent. Use of cars for commuting purposes fell by 5 per cent to 35.4 per cent.
Local authorities see the cause of this – besides the increase in fuel prices – in the vastly improved bicycle facilities. In addition to measures like lowering curbs (in Germany cycling on the pavement is quite common), more bicycle parking facilities, allowing contraflow cycling in one-way streets and improved signposting, the use was also strongly affected by allowing bicycles to be taken along in public transport and Bike and Ride measures. The image of cycling has been positively targeted as well. Campaigns have been conducted to tempt recreational cyclists as well as promote commuter cycling.