Perceived safety of cargo bikes: a barrier against a greener future?

While cities focus on making logistics more and more environmentally sustainable by implementing “green deals,” the potential impact of the increase of cargo bikes remains unclear.

A thesis by Groningen student Youri Meerstra investigates perceived safety that residents experience with a potential increase in cargo bikes, in this case, the residents of the inner city of Groningen (NL). Feelings of unsafety might create tension between the municipality, courier companies, and residents, leading to a potential barrier towards accepting an increase in cargo bikes and, therefore, a more environmentally friendly urban transportation network.

To find the potential impact of an increase in cargo bikes on perceived safety, the following research question is studied: How would an increase in cargo bikes impact the perceived safety of the urban transportation network within the future zero-emission zone of the city of Groningen?

The results, based on a literature study, a survey, and a policy analysis, indicate an increased influence on the perceived safety of cargo bikes. Furthermore, the capacity to handle a cargo bike in the urban transportation network influences perceived safety. Therefore, the student calls for change. From policies implemented elsewhere, it is possible to find three recommendations for Groningen: creating more space for bicycles and cargo bikes, creating more parking infrastructure for cargo bikes, and providing experience with cargo bikes.

Source: Thesis RUG

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