The use of bicycles in Italy is still poor and the main cause of this phenomenon is certainly relating to a general lack of safety in cycling. In the last decade the trend of road accidents and victims is generally decreasing, but, at the same time, the number of cyclists involved in road accidents increased by 24,5%. The causes of this high accident rate is mainly relating to a lack of national legislation or to standards which are old, often overlapped to regional guidelines, uneven, confusing and in some case also contradictory.
In terms of cycle network planning, it should be reminded that in Italy there is no regulation that establishes the criteria for a functional classification of bicycle paths. As a consequence, the infrastructure geometry and facilities (bicycle parking, places of refreshments, cycle repair shops, etc.) are not properly put in relation to the role played by the cycle path in the territory.
In the course of time, we assisted to the realization of isolated cycle path trunks, generally out of a planning strategy and characterized by their own geometry. Therefore, taking also inspiration by the standards developed in other European countries, this research tries to provide guidelines for pre-normative functional classification of cycle paths, for their design and planning, in order to obtain safe and homogeneous cycling routes in Italy.
It should be noted that the technical solutions, devices and traffic regulations, adopted in other countries, are very effective for a safe cycle mobility, but need to be revised in relation to the existing Italian law.
Linköping: Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, 2013.
16th International Conference Road Safety on Four Continents. Beijing, China (RS4C 2013). 15-17 May 2013