After theoretical and practical training, feelings of insecurity among Brussels cyclists decreased significantly, according to a study by Pro Velo and Mobiel 21 commissioned by Brussels Mobility.
After receiving training, the fear and stress of the 200 participants was halved, and six times as many cyclists found it pleasant to cycle in Brussels, Bruzz reports.
For the study, Pro Velo and Mobiel 21 assessed the feeling of insecurity among 210 Brussels cyclists, with and without experience.
The participants were asked what they consider to be the most unsafe situations in traffic, and the top three were: turning left at a major intersection, overtaking cars on the left when standing still at traffic lights and going downhill on roads with tram tracks.
These situations were followed by “driving in a street with limited one-way traffic and the bicycle path ends” and “you have to turn back onto a road without a bicycle path.”
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After this survey, the 210 participants received theoretical and practical training from Pro Velo to acquire the necessary skills to cycle safely in Brussels and gain more self-confidence in traffic.
The training included providing better knowledge of traffic signs, and help with choosing a suitable route.
Six weeks later, 85 of them were surveyed again to see what impact the training had on their feelings of insecurity. Anxiety and stress decreased by approximately half after the training, and six times more cyclists said they found cycling in Brussels to be pleasant.
Fifty-four percent still said they find cycling difficult, even after the training, which is why Pro Velo and Mobiel 21 want more efforts to be made towards creating a solid infrastructure, putting regional cycling routes in the spotlight and organising awareness campaigns about the right of way rules.
They also stressed the importance of training adults in order to reduce the feelings of insecurity.
The Brussels Times