Not so long ago, the bicycle was used mainly for recreation and sports, but today it has become a convenient, cheap, ecological and healthy way to get to work or school. Not only in Poland, but also around the world, we are seeing an increase in the importance of bicycle transportation. That’s why the Marshal’s Office and the Provincial Road Administration (ZDW) in Olsztyn have set their sights on comprehensive construction of roads for bicycles (DDR).
Local governments in Warmia and Mazury have been carrying out work to expand bicycle roads for years. As a result, numerous sections have been created, which cyclists are very eager to use, but the need to coordinate these activities has been recognized, among other things, in order to take care of connections between municipalities and counties as well. It is the integrity of the bicycle infrastructure, which is well-maintained and thus safe, that determines why users choose the bicycle over the car or bus.
Map of roads for bicycles
We were invited to collaborate on the project as an expert in road management. We had to start by gathering information about the current routes for bicycles. There was no single, complete database that would contain up-to-date information about roads, paths and bicycle routes, so we had to create it practically from scratch. In the first step, based on the data provided to us by ZDW in Olsztyn, we created a professional reference system of DDR throughout the province. Then we contacted 150 institutions, municipalities and counties in the region to verify it. We conducted surveys, talked and sent emails with the aim of eliminating any errors and filling in the gaps of the reference system we created for roads in the province. Are all planned roads marked on the map? Does the road actually run on this side of the roadway? Have the managers’ intentions for planned roads changed? We sought answers to these and many other questions, which we were able to find thanks to the full involvement of representatives of local authorities and road infrastructure management institutions.
Remote access to all data
In carrying out this project, we used our OnKo3 system for sharing road data (more information about the system can be found here >>>) , which in the future will be able to be combined with the project for vehicular roads, so that the manager will have all the information in one central system. All willing institutions have been given access to the system, which will assist them in their daily tasks by also allowing them to update the data themselves.
Continuous bicycle network
The intuitive OnKo3 system made it possible to verify the mileage and status of several thousand kilometers of bicycle roads in the region in less than 30 days. The up-to-date map is now available online on the website of ZDW in Olsztyn. However, this is only a prelude to implementing a full management system in the spirit of Asset Management. The next step will be not only to complete the data on roads, their technical standard and equipment, but also to take care of updating this data. It is the digital, complete and up-to-date data that gives a chance for effective and wise management of the entire network, so that bicycle roads are safe and comfortable to use and new ones are built precisely where they are most needed.