The third largest city by inhabitants in Spain is home to around 800.000 inhabitants within the city and 1.8 million in the wider urban area. Valencia is famous for it location at the Mediterranean sea, the ‘city of arts and science’, its convention center, as well as a historic medieval centre and the city beach. The 2022 European Capital of Smart Tourism attracted more than three million tourists in 2021. Valencia is a very pedestrian-friendly city, as walking accounts to around 48% of the modal share, while 5% of trips are done by bike. There is a growing usage of micro-mobility, which is estimated to currently account for approximately 25% of bicycle lane users.
ROAD SAFETY SITUATION
Spain suffered 8.3 urban road fatalities per 1 million inhabitants in 2020. Thus, around 400 citizens had fatal accidents in urban areas in Spain in one year. In Valencia specifically, around 400-500 accidents involving cyclists happen on an annual base. Even though significant investments in (separate) cycling infrastructure is currently under way, the responsible city administration aims to enhance active mobility infrastructure. Additionally, traffic calming measures to reduce the average speed to 30 or 20km/h in dedicated streets are also planned.
Scenario tests are planned for initiatives focussing on bicycling infrastructure upgrades and speed limit reductions. The aim of such tests is to better understand the impact of these initiatives on road user behaviour, particularly of the micro-mobility usage. Scenarios for several critical intersections are laid out and different traffic scenarios will be simulated to identify challenges and enhance the overall safety of cyclists and micro-mobility users.
The safety of dedicated bicycling networks (such as the green ring) will be also surveyed using an instrumented bicycle and e-scooter to collect imagery, which will be assessed using a light mobility-specific risk assessment methodology (CycleRAP)to understand safety, network connectivity, infrastructure types and age and ability suitability.
To capture the critical effects of different scenarios, several simulations and real measurements will be conducted on a sample of at least at 5 “event-critical” intersections and at 10 bike lane segments across different road and area types. Traffic speed and headway data will also be gathered and used to calibrate behaviour models for simulation environments. The results will inform recommendations of improvements in infrastructure, design, and speed regulations.