Cycling that makes sense - A qualitative exploration of cyclists’ perception of bicycle infrastructure
Paper in proceeding, 2021

Bicycle infrastructure is in most cities a fairly recent addition and something that has, in many cases, been squeezed in where space has been available. Consequently, the properties of bike lanes differ a lot between different locations. An observation that is easy to make is that when bike lanes are wide, smooth, and straight, the variation in cyclists’ behaviour is low. When on the other hand there are lanes that disappear, that takes long detours, or are blocked for various reasons, cyclists start to act in a way that from an outsider perspective may look random or at least difficult to predict. This paper reports on a study where 17 cyclists have filmed their daily commute with GPS equipped action cameras. They then observed their film together with a researcher and explained how they perceive the route and how they make their choices in traffic. Based on the results of the study we present a tentative model of how cyclist behaviour can be predicted that can be used as a design tool when designing bicycle infrastructure or making changes to existing infrastructure. The model suggests that cyclist behaviour is affected by two sets of factors; physical factors that can be viewed as unintentional nudges associated with the environment, and subjective factors that are based on rational decisions by the individual cyclist.

perceived action space

bicycle infrastructure




Bike safety

city planning


Cedrik Sjöblom

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Design and Human Factors

Pontus Wallgren

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Design and Human Factors

Proceedings from ICSC2021

9th International Cycling Safety Conference
Lund, Sweden,

Measures for behaving safely in traffic (MeBeSafe)

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/723430), 2017-05-01 -- 2020-10-31.

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories


Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Interaction Technologies

Human Computer Interaction

Other Civil Engineering

More information

Latest update

3/2/2022 1