Calculation of the potential volume of cyclists that could pass through each corridor.

How many people have to travel?
Is it worth investing in cycling mobility?
How many people can benefit from it?

To answer these questions we have relied on public reports prepared by different administrations. All this data is based on the “old normality”, so the first consideration to be made is that the “new normality” is currently unknown because we are doing it right now, between April and May 2020. Therefore, the data from the study are approximate but give good guidance.

To find out the level of use that each of these corridors can have, we consulted Autoritat del Transport Metropolità (AMT Metropolitan Transport Authority). In its Mobility Master Plan 2020-2025 (November 2019) we can find the following data:

County analysis of the province of Barcelona 2017. Main inter-county trips on weekdays (in thousands of trips) without taking into account flows > 20,000 trips / day. Source: Mobility Master Plan 2020-2025. ATM.

Sorted from highest to lowest:

  • Barcelonès – Baix Llobregat: 691.000 trips
  • Barcelonès – Vallès Occidental: 459.000 trips
  • Barcelonès – Maresme: 209.000 trips
  • Barcelonès – Vallès Oriental: 134.000 trips
  • Vallès Occidental – Vallès Oriental: 132.000 trips
  • Baix Llobregat – Vallès Occidental: 107.000 trips
  • Barcelonès – Garraf: 63.000 trips (in transit through Baix Llobregat)
  • Vallès Oriental – Maresme: 36.000 trips
  • Baix Llobregat – Anoia: 31.000 trips
  • Vallès Oriental – Maresme: 27.000 trips (in transit through V. Oriental or BCN)
  • Barcelonès – Alt Penedès: 26.000 trips (in transit through Baix Llobregat)
  • Barcelonès – Osona: 25.000 trips (in transit through Vallès Oriental)

These are the trips using all available means, ie: car, metro, bus, train, bicycle, on foot, etc. Not all of these routes are feasible by bike, but they give us an idea of ​​the mobility demand in the area.

According to Ajuntament de Barcelona (Barcelona City Council’s) Basic Mobility Data Report (2017), only 2.2% of these trips were made by bicycle. A figure that is increasing compared to 2014 where they were 1.8%.

This means that in a post-Covid scenario, with an increase in cycling infrastructure could easily reach 3% of travel by 2020.

Aquesta imatge té l'atribut alt buit; el seu nom és corredors-mobilitat-ciclista-barcelona-1024x740.png

If we adapt these flows to the previously proposed corridors we will be able to know which of the four corridors has the highest potential demand.

We have made the following considerations:

  • not all of these trips can be taken up by cycling mobility. For example, between Barcelonés and Alt Penedès there are too many kilometers and gradient to do it by bike to go to work. Or the trips between Barcelonès and Osona, it is too far to do them regularly by bike.
  • the most direct corridor between the Vallès Occidental and Barcelonès is the 3 (crossing Collserola) but for now, as the interventions that are being made are provisional, cheap and immediate we have preferred to divide this volume of traffic between the corridors 2 and 4 .

Corridor 1: to Maresme

209.000 (*3%) + 27.000 (*1%) = 6.270 + 270 = 6.540 trips/day

Corridor 2: to Vallès through Montcada

134.000 (*3%) + 27.000 (*1%) + 25.000 (*0%)+ (459.000/2)(*3%) = 4.020 + 270 + 0 + 6885 = 11.175 trips/day

Corridor 3: to Vallès through Vallvidrera

We leave it empty in the short term, but in the long term it has the potential to:

459.000 (*3%) = 13.770 trips/day

Corridor 4: to Baix Llobregat

26.000 (*0%) + (459.000/2)(*3%) + (691.000/2)(*3%) = 0 + 6.885 + 10.365 = 17.250 trips/day

Corridor 5: to Garraf

(691.000/2)(*3%) + 63.000 (*0%) = 10.365 + 0 = 10.365 trips/day


Potential demand for each of the corridors

CorridorPotential demand of trips/day
16.540
211.175
313.770
417.250
510.365

From these amounts we can deduce that:

  • corridor 1 (follow the coast to the Maresme) is the least used of the five, but no less necessary. In fact, due to the high population density of Barcelonès Nord and Maresme, these would be actions that could benefit many people, especially inhabitants of Sant Adrià, Santa Coloma, Badalona, ​​Montgat and El Masnou.
  • corridor 2 (the Montcada pass) would be the second most important at present, with the particularity that all trips must pass through a very narrow section of the territory.
  • corridor 3 (crossing Collserola) would be the second most important corridor if the tunnel could be used. But in the case of it, it would depend a lot on the final execution to make it really functional and to be used according to this potential demand.
  • corridor 4 (axis of the Baix Llobregat) is the most important to communicate Barcelona with neighboring towns.
  • corridor 5 (leaving Barcelona between L’Hospitalet and Montjuïc) would have the second lowest demand on paper, but it has potential similar to route 2 right now.

As a conslusion the current four corridors and the hypothetical Collserola corridor will have significant potential demands and they can contribute to safer public transport through less occupancy, decrease thermal motor vehicle traffic and emissions, and increase the population quality of life.


by: Joan Calvera (president and founder of CycloCat)

Categories: General

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