Cycling in Bratislava

The Site

Waterfronts of Danube
Source: Visit Bratislava (Matej Kovac)

Site that we choose for our research area of bikeability is situated near the centre of the capital city of Slovakia, Bratislava. Research has focused on both waterfronts of the Danube river. The waterfront on the left side of the river  is in direct contact with the historic city center. The area between the castle and the old town, formerly known as the Jewish quarter,  was affected by extensive demolition due to the construction of the bridge SNP in the late 1960’s. Despite significant damages and split caused by the construction of the bridge,  the bridge became one of the key architectural landmarks of Bratislava and also a national architectural heritage. This area of the city can be described as neglected, yet developing. Pedestrian promenade along the river is short, not well organised and ends on the private parking lot. On the opposite site of the parking lot on the same waterfront of Danube can be found developing downtown with highrise buildings, administrative districts, cultural institutions and shopping facilities. This area is characteristic of the speede development.

Eurovea waterfront – part of new downtown
Source: Oto Novacek

On the right bank can be found the oldest public park in central Europe, founded in the 18th century. This area has strong natural character with embankment, summer beach, restaurants or botels. Citizens use this locality for recreation and sports, it is part of oficial cyclepath Eurovelo 6. When you cross the park in direction to the south, you can find here the biggest residential borough, built of prefabricated concrete panels during communist era, which is a home to more than 100 000 people.

Sad Janka Krala park with SNP bridge in the background
Source: Visit Bratislava

Research agenda

Our choice of bike paths consist of touristically attractive small sightseeing circle across the two bridges in the old town area with local heritage, promenade at new-built downtown area and path from frequent public transport node close to the SNP bridge direction to Faculty of Architecture and Design. These routes are regularly used by cyclists and pedestrians, whether for purposeful movement or for recreation. Research focuses particularly on physical obstacles,hindrances, interruptions, and (non)existence of cycle paths.


Track 1

Waterfront is a promenade for pedestrians, but in fact it is also used by citizens as a cyclepath. This promenade is a frequent public place especially in summer. We noticed cyclists’ prohibition sign at the beginning of pathway.  Breaking of rules is caused by the absence of proper cycling infrastructure along the major part of the left bank of the river. Bike sharing points in this area can be understood as a physical proof of the cyclists using this waterfront.

Prohibition of the biking in the area of the waterfront
Track 2

This track is a segment of official cyclo infrastructure along the river (also Eurovelo 6), but it is not visually connected with the Danube. Cyclopath itself is hardly visible and has physical standing signs or drawn signs on the ground in poor condition. In this part of the path can be found several dangerous junctions which are poorly organized and highlighted. Entrance to the bridge SNP is not bike friendly due to the steepness of the ramp.  The bridge itself, namely the lower part for pedestrians and cyclists, is approximately 3 meters wide, which can cause conflicts.

Shared lane at the SNP bridge
Track 3

Another “no cyclepath” zone, but this track starts at one of the most frequent bus stops in the city center and continues to the Faculty of Architecture and Design. This path is on the main transport route crossing the city, with 4 to 8 driving lanes. This route has  poor pedestrian paths and no cycle paths. One part of the track is an official cycle path, long only a few hundred meters marked with a green line on the ground. The colouring is barely visible. Furthermore, cars are often parking on this cycle path. Furthermore, cycle path ends at the next junction and one has to continue on the road, or walkway (this is prohibited in Slovakia). 

Parking on the cycle path
Track 4

This track is located in a newly built downtown, and crosses a theater, a shopping centre, and some other facilities. Despite the contemporary development of this area it is full of barriers and without marked cycle paths, little possibilities to park the bike or bike recreation in general. We can find here narrow pathways, just a few rest places and bike stands of poor quality in front of the entrances to shopping mall. Moreover, the area along the shopping mall is the missing connection between two existing cycle paths along the waterfront, which are part of the main cycle transit route. However, it is prohibited to ride a bike in front of the theater. This rule is being continuously broken by people.

Missing the marking of the cycle path


During the bikeability study in Bratislava (Slovakia), several methods of spatial field research were used. Our approach to the topic consisted of GPS movement tracking, which was converted into the path visualizing the researched area. Problematic places and their elements were geolocalized along these paths.  Those were further evaluated by making memos in the form of handwritten comments and remarks. Additionally, our observations are illustrated on photos of the observed places and elements.

The field research was executed with the use of freeware application OsmAnd. Bikeability mapping focused on the total number of 4 tracks in the total length of 8 kilometers. Altogether, 62 photos were made with the use of this app. Collected data of the field research were further converted into GeoJSON format  of geographic data structure via webpage. This type of conversion ensured further presentability of the acquired data, as well as the possibility of the further research and comparison. The whole approach is embedded within the OpenData principle, when the data are publicly aqurrible, and accessible. 

Methodological reflection

Problems and/or difficulties

The problem point of our research was the un-compatibility of mapping tools from the used application for Iphone users and an unfortunate coincidence of really bad autumnal weather with heavy rain through data acquisition days. We also got into some dangerous situations in confrontation with cars at places without pedestrian/cycle infrastructure.

Furthermore, we found the use of app, subsequent transformation into GeoJson and further transformation for the purpose of the visualization overwhelming. Optimally, the app or interface should be able to directly convert GPS coordinates into GeoJson formats.

Easy points

We consider the easy part of the research site selection and identification of problems.

Potentials and constraints in using the methodology

As a big potential we can suggest using this system by citizens as a real time tool for reporting damages, obstacles or problems to municipalities also as a valuation tool for cycle paths. Constraint of this usage can be subjectivity of acquired datas. However, such tool already exists in Slovakia ( Odkaz pre starostu –, Pocitové Mapy –

What was good/bad suited to illustrate the observations

Our city suffers with lack of oficial cycle paths. Existing cycle paths have bad sings, dangerous crossings and poor discipline. Cyclists endangered pedestrians, drivers endangered cyclists. We have a relevant net of bikesharing points but just in the city center.

Which questions could be relevant for further research?

Daily usage of focused routes, how much cyclists we can find here and what are their tracks.


Novi Sad Bikeability

Meet the team from Novi Sad/ teaching assistant_Ranka, Students_Iva, Sara and Boris

Novi Sad is a city of Serbia with the most cyclists going to work in the winter, where the number of cyclists in the city is growing by 9 percent a year.

This being said, it is obvious that Novi Sad has a strong community oriented towards cycling, one of them being the Novi Sad Critical Mass. It is important to note that Critical Mass is an event, not an organization. It was initiated by the Novi Sad Cycling Initiative, cultivating a non-political character and a form of mass bike-riding, not a protest. The Novi Sad Critical Mass gathers members of all ages, and the youngest participant being only 11 months old.

Novi Sad’s cycling culture
Since there is a constant need to articulate civil demands and solve problems related to cycling , as well as the need to synchronize individual actions related to the popularization of cycling, which is increasingly common, there was a need to form a unique citizen organisation. “Novi Sad Cycling Initiative” was established on September 18, 2011 as an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organization, founded to achieve goals in the field of promotion, development and promotion of cycling, healthy lifestyles, energy efficiency and sustainable development. NSCI has decided to participate and influence the decision-making related to cycling through activism, with the desire that projects intended for cyclists be realized according to the needs of cyclists.


Novi Sad’s Critical Mass event in Limanski Park

Research agenda
During the research phase, we cycled through the routes from the university to the outskirts of the city that are most commonly used in Novi Sad. Based on indicators such as safety, functionality, connectiveness, undisturbed flow of the bicycle lanes etc., we chose three lanes to consider. Groups we wanted to adress with these lanes would be everyday commuters: students and university employees.

The routes you most commonly find here in Novi Sad are of the flat type. Most people get on their bikes to ride here in the months of May and July. Lane on the Novi Sad’s Kej is among the most popular ones giving it’s beautiful surroundings, including Danube and rich vegetation.

Ambient of the bicycle route on Novi Sad’s Quay, by the Danube
Source: blog authors

Potentially problematic situations that occurred to us while doing a field research are related to bicycle routes not being continual. Also, they are commonly found in bad condition, lacking marks and signalisation. They are often interfering with pedestrian lanes as well. Our main goal would be to adress a space for improvement of bicycle infrastructure and to propose solutions for more bikeable city by indicating some important constrains and obstacles.

Bicycle lane lenghts

The existing length of bicycle paths is 63.3 km.

The existing length of bicycle roads is 65.6 km.

The planned length of the bike paths is about 175 km.

The planned length of bicycle roads is about 207 km.

The construction of bicycle infrastructure is one of the measures that will contribute to development of bycicle traffic. (Picture 1 and Picture 2)

Picture 1 – Existing, planned and proposed bicycle network roads connecting the City of Novi Sad

In the old town language (narrow center – pedestrian zone, Podbara, Salajka) it is necessary regulatory measures allow the movement of cycling. By connecting the Boulevard Mihajla Pupina and Temerinska streets through the pedestrian zone and the old city center (Modena Street, Njegoseva, Pozorisni trg, Trifkovicev trg, Svetozara Miletica, Nikolajevska, Pasiceva, Marija Trandafil), enable cyclists to avoid moving through the very heavenly streets of Upsenski and Jovana Subotica.

Research methodology

This map depicts three of the chosen routes, all leading to the Faculty of Technical Sciences, as a intersective area of our research. The grey route (2.58km) is starting on Patrijarha Pavla Boulevard, extending through cara Lazara Boulevard. Continuing through that boulevard, the road meets the Kej area by the Danube river, marked with a light blue route(2.07km). The longest route (3.57km) is the red route, starting from the University campus and stretching through the Old town (city center) towards the part of the town called Detelinara.


BME_B Bikeability

We have examined the existing cycling tracks on the riverbanks of Budapest City Center that are now used mostly by locals and tourists. Based on planned developments and extant, but unexploited possibilities, we claim that these tracks can be used by the inhabitants of the suburbia and agglomeration as well. This requires the development of B+R (Bike&Ride) infrastructure. We have chosen those 3 HÉV lines (H5, H6 and H7) that are positioned very close to the Danube, and 2 of them connect Danubian SMSc (Szentendre, and Ráckeve) to the city center. We have examined various possibilities of approaching the center (in our case, the main, riverside entrance of BME) by crossing over 3 different bridges.


The examined cycling tracks are almost fully on both riversides of the Danube. They are also part of the EuroVélo network and on the EV6 (Atlantic–Black Sea) route. One of the most popular sections of the route is the Danube Bend – Budapest track. We studied the Budapest City Center routes on both (right=Buda/left=Pest) sides of the Danube River. Our tracks fulfil the given condition of being approximately 2 km long.

EURO Velo 6 in Budapest (Source:
Urban heat map of bike lanes in Budapest / Most used is the embankment (Source:

The five Suburban Railway lines are operated by the public transport company MÁV-HÉV Zrt., a subsidiary of Hungarian State Railways. Three out of the five HÉV lines connect Csepel (south), Ráckeve (far south) and Szentendre (north) with central Budapest, and their end stations are very close to the riverbanks. In our research, we focused on these lines. Inside Budapest, standard BKK tickets and passes are valid on the HÉV, but outside Budapest, a separate ticket must be purchased. This will (hopefully) change in the forthcoming months by launching an integrated agglomeration-wide ticket, which is a necessary condition for a proper B+R use.

HÉV lines from Budapest towards agglomeration (Source: wikimedia commons)

Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This site has the remains of monuments such as the Roman city of Aquincum and the Gothic castle of Buda, which have had a considerable influence on the architecture of various periods. It is one of the world’s outstanding urban landscapes mainly because of the Danube location. The contrast between the flat Pest side and the hilly Buda side is even more dramatic at the foot of Gellért Hill which is very close to the river. Otherwise, we can see a high-density historic urban fabric that consists mostly of XIX. Century buildings. The riverside cityscape is partitioned by the bridges and their heads, where we can see some smaller squares and parks.

Map showing UNESCO World Heritage site boundaries and buffer zone (Source:

Map of the examined HÉV stations along the Danube


Problem description

The cycling routes on the riverbanks of Budapest are almost contiguous and are in relatively good condition, but it is obvious that there are many conflicts at the junctions and bridgeheads that make circulation slow. And because of the narrow promenades, there is a usage conflict between pedestrians and cyclists in many sections. The cycling infrastructure is not complete, and there are not enough parking places and other services (incl. B+R parking lots).

Research questions

It is not possible to carry bikes on most of the public transport lines of Budapest, but it is allowed on Railway (MÁV) and Suburban Railway (HÉV) lines. This is why we claim that (in parallel with recreational use), it would be possible to use them for everyday commuting from agglomeration because it is easy to reach HÉV endstations. This would valorize the quality of life in several Danubian SMCs and former settlements in the outskirts (along Line H5, Budakalász and Szentendre; along H6, Csepel, and along H7, Pesterzsébet, Soroksár, Dunaharaszti, Szigetszentmiklós, and Ráckeve). In addition, there is a possibility for tourists and locals of Budapest to use HÉV lines for one-day cycling trips towards these settlements that have various undiscovered architectural and natural resources.

The Danubian SMC of Ráckeve would be an ideal target of one-day trips with HÉV (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

So we examined the possibilities of B+R use from the outskirts of Budapest and agglomeration. Although there are some accessibility problems, the question in our case is not focused on this. We concentrated on the smaller obstacles and too complicated junctions that make cycling routes slower, and we listed the missing infrastructure elements.


Our overall impression

Two of the three members of our group have a lot of experience with these routes because they are everyday cyclists. But one of the group members can be called a beginner because she biked in Budapest for the first time. In this way, the overall impression is very different among the group members. The experienced ones remarked that until now, they didn’t focus on infrastructural elements, so they have learned a different approach. The “beginner” person remarked that – although there are some complicated and/or dangerous sections – the routes are safer than expected, but the usage conflict between the pedestrians and cyclists is disturbing.

Covering and barriers

The overall condition of the route covering is relatively good, except for some sections like Boráros tér and Közvágóhíd (where there is actually no dedicated bike lane). But we have seen some bumps and pits that can be dangerous, especially on coverings consisting of small stone/concrete elements. These could be easily repaired but no-one is taking care. We have seen some hollow areas that, after a heavy rain on the previous days, have become big puddles. There are very different barriers (parapets, rails, hems, etc.) along the routes, but they are not missing or misplaced, so they don’t cause any major problem. The signage of the cover is wear-off in many places that can be extremely disturbing for beginners. On neglected and broken surfaces, there is weed growing from the cracks that become bumps.

Typical obstacles and hindrances

There are some bottlenecks where the route becomes more narrow. These are not marked before, so they are surprising points for beginners. There are many misplaced utility objects (lamps, transformer boxes, etc.) that are positioned in a bad way. (We must add the fact that most of the bike lanes were constructed later, so the planners had to adapt to these existing boxes and lamp posts.) There are some misplaced trees that obstruct circulation, and there are missing grids around the trees that can be pits for cyclists.

Usage conflicts

On the more narrow routes, there was no opportunity to designate a separate bike lane, only the side is defined. In this way, pedestrians are not protected from cyclists. On the other hand, there are (naturally) much more pedestrians and runners on these routes, so they occupy most of the surface. We have experienced that pedestrians often use the surface for cyclists. This occurs in some overused sections where there is a separated bike lane, but next to the footway. Electric rollers are left everywhere and obstruct circulation.

Typical helpings and advantages

There are enough bicycle parking places between BME and Boráros tér, but they are missing from BME to Batthyány tér and from Boráros tér to Közvágóhíd (which is obvious because there is no bike route near Közvágóhíd junction). There are some buttresses and bike pumps at the junction of Gellért tér. Drinking wells are almost missing, except for the one at Boráros tér and Nehru part (which belong to the park infrastructure). Fortunately, there are enough traffic lights and signages, except for Közvágóhíd junction.

Junctions, including bridgeheads

At junctions and crossings, we have remarked that the tracing of the routes is too complicated, especially at Boráros tér. At Közvágóhíd junction, there is no bike route which There are too many traffic islands at Döbrentei tér and at Csarnok tér. But it is a positive thing that there are enough traffic lights and signages. The most dangerous crossing for bikes is near Halász utca crossing.


We have remarked that junctions and crossings should be simplified to decrease circulation time because they are complicated and not even pedestrian-friendly. The worst junctions in this case are Boráros tér and Közvágóhíd. There are crossings where cyclists (and pedestrians) have to wait long minutes, like Csarnok tér. Pedestrians and cyclists should be separated because mixed surfaces are dangerous for both users. Situations where the bike lane is next to the pedestrian promenade are not working because people don’t respect the borders. The curbs are not always suitable for cycling – you have to carry your own bike.


Our aim was to observe how a cyclist can reach the University from the nearby HÉV stations, and vica versa. The chosen HÉV stations are the following: H5: Budapest-Batthyány Square – Szentendre; H6: Budapest – Boráros Square – Csepel; H7: Budapest – Közvágóhíd – Ráckeve. We wanted to figure out which is the fastest and safest way to reach our highlighted places, where can we find the most, and the less problems during our way, so our group members separated on each road and cycled either 2 or 3 different routes.

  • At first we started our observations in the Batthyány Square, from where one of our group members cycled in the Fő Street – as a main street, with bicycle lane – and two others used the Danube Buda side quay’s bikeway. 
  • Our second road was from the University to the H6 HÉV station (Boráros Square). Here we separated again into two groups. One person used the Buda side quay and the Petőfi Bridge, and two people used the Liberty Bridge, and the Pest side quay. 
  • The third measurement took place between the H7 HÉV station (Közvágóhíd) and the BME University. Here we separated in three. One person used the Rákóczi Bridge and the Buda side quay as the observed road. One person went on the Pest side quaye till the Petőfi Bridge, and continued her journey on the Buda side quay. And one person went along the Danube on the Pest side till the Liberty Bridge, and observed that bike road.

Map of all routes recorded during the field work

During each bikeability measurement we were collecting datas about the obstacles, and problematic situations, difficulties we faced with like: crossings, bridgeheads, bottlenecks, bumps, usage conflicts, etc.

And we also collecting datas about some positive aspects asd useful things for bikers like: bike pump, bike parking places, prehensile, place for water intake, etc.

We used OsmAnd Application for collecting datas – pathways, points and pictures from the problematic, or useful elements – by phones. We did not take sound or video records, because there was a strong wind, and it would distort the sonority, and also because the application quickly drains the phone’s battery.

Number of Tracks Recorded

Number of tracks: 9. 

Distribution of the recorded tracks: 3 times 3 routes were recorded

  • Batthyány square HÉV Final station – BME Main building (3 different recording)
  • BME Main building – Boráros square HÉV Final station (3 different recording)
  • Közvágóhíd HÉV Final station – BME Main building (3 different recording)

From Batthyány tér HÉV final station to BME main building

From Boráros tér HÉV final station to BME main building

From Közvágóhíd HÉV final station to BME main building

Total Number of Markers Recorded

Heatmap generated from the GPX data, showing problematic point clusters, where we needed to stop (Source:

Close up of the 3 routes taken from Közvágóhíd to BME

All recorded markers from Közvágóhíd to BME

Markers with Media content, showing problems and potentials from Közvágóhíd to BME

Methodological reflection – application, geojson, wordpress

Problems/difficulties encountered?

  • For one of us, the markers could be downloaded only one by one
  • The Iphone cannot make pictures with the app
  • It takes long to make markers and notes, and because the recording is on, you will have many points in the same place or anomalies
  • It is hard to clear the unneeded but recorded points in geojson from the measured road (for example when you stopped to make markers and pictures)
  • The app quickly drains the battery of the phones
  • It would be nice to automatize the uploading of the pictures in the popup file, because now you have to do it one by one
  • It is hard to coordinate the different programs 

What was easy?

  • It is easy to use the application: just start recording and it will goes till you stop it
  • It is easy to get the data, and the pictures from the OsmApp, and put it into Geojson
  • The WordPress is easy to handle, and it gives many opportunities for editing 

Potentials and constraints in using the methodology

It could be good for doing data collections and research in special areas, but with that a huge amount of data that it can create would not be manageable by this method that we did – manual work – so you need automatization. 

What was good/bad suited to illustrate the observations

  • It was nice, that we could create easily maps from our recorded routes
  • In wordpress you can easily create a photo galeria – you can show and highlight all the problems, and positive aspects with pictures
  • It is also good, that our markers and pictures show up immediately together with the routes
  • It is hard to create popups one by one, and connect the pictures with the markers 

Which questions could be relevant for further research?

How can automatization help to get and handle all of this recorded data and pictures?


Călărași bikeability


Position: Călărași city is situated in south-east Romania, on the bank of Danube’s Borcea branch, at about 12 km from the Bulgarian border and 125 km from Bucharest.

History: The city is on a site of a prehistoric village, called ”Lichiresti” from the time of Mihai Viteazul. Călărași appeared for the first time in 1700 on a map drawn by Constantin Cantacuzino. It got its name after it was made by the Wallachian princes, in the 17th century, a station of “mounted couriers’ service” on the route from Bucharest to Constantinople. The service was operated by horseback riders ( ”călărași”). It expanded into a small town, and in 1834 became the surrounding county’s capital.

Accessibility: Călărași is connected by A2 (“The Sun’s Highway”) which has 3 exits to the city and ith has also connections with DN3, DN21, DN31, and DN3B. The city lies on the 7th pan-European corridor of transport (the Danube river) and is next to the 4th pan-European transport corridor (Dresden–Constanța) at 26 km (16.16 mi). The town is also connected by rail.

source: level accessability – TEN-T Corridors
Accessibility of the city (by car)

Role of Danube (City-water relationship)

The “Danube River” borders the city of Călărași to the south, and the “Borcea” arm, which detaches on the left bank downstream of the “Chiciu” point, crosses the urban area from south-north to southwest, after forming the Borcea bend. The Borcea arm is 99 km long. On the left bank, an industrial canal (13 km long) was built to allow barges loaded with raw materials (scrap metal, ore, coal) for the industries. The canal is crossed by a modern bridge with four lanes that connect the city to the Danube crossing point at Chiciu – Ostrov being also an excellent place for fishing and training for water sports.


The entire urban development of the city comprised in The General Urban plan of Călărași is oriented towards capturing the resource represented by the Borcea arm and its connection with the Danube. Both from the point of view of the orientation of the central functions and from the morphological point of view, Calarasi pursues in its planning program the better opening to the water, the functionalization of the rivers banks and opening to the public, as well as the use for the public interest of the extremities –ex-industrial sites, that can become part of a larger green recreational area and promenade.


Demographic development (Shrinkage, growth)

The general evolution of the population of Calarasi after 1990 is marked by a decrease in population, a decrease in natural growth, and evolution negative increase in migration, until the years 2003-2004. In the last 4-5 years, there is a slight increase in the population and of the natural increase and positive evolution of the migratory increase.

Călărași – general demographic elvoution
Călărași – demographic increase
Călărași – migratory increase

Local Heritage

Natural protected areas: Caiafele Forest, Ciornuleasa Forest, Fundeni Forest, Tămădău Forest, Vărăşti Forest, Special Protection Area of Avifaul C (commune Cuza Vodă and the Municipality of Călăraşi), Haralambie Island Nature Reserve (on the Danube river, km 400), Şoimul Island Nature Reserve (on the Danube river, km 350, near Dichiseni locality), Ciocăneşti Island Nature Reserve, on river 39, Ciocăneşti commune)

Building protection: The most important protected buildings, included in the “List of historical monuments classified in group A and B, updated”, published by the Ministry of Culture and Cults are :

  • Archaeological site of Calarasi, point „Gradistea Calarasi” located 2 km from the city;
  • Old town hall, sec. XIX, today School of Arts, Str. December 1, 1918, no. 3-5;
  • Commercial school, Str. December 1, 1918, no. 88;
  • Ana and Marinache Popescu House, today DJCCPCN, Str. December 13, no. 9A;
  • High school, Str. December 13, no. 12;
  • Municipal Financial Administration, Str. December 13, no. 16;
  • Demetriad House today County Library, 1888, Str. Bucharest no. 102;
  • “Stirbei Voda” High School, 159 Bucharest Street;
  • Ensemble of houses with shops, 20th century, Str. Bucharest no. 161-163;
  • Vasile D. Marinescu House, 1932, Str. Bucharest no. 168;
  • Former primary school for girls, 1896-1897, Str. Bucharest no. 172;
  • Constantin Tican House, 1908, Str. Bucharest no. 185;
  • Old Post, 1904-1905, p. Bucharest no. 193;
  • Deculescu House, 1905, Str. Bucharest no. 219;
  • Moara, 1912, p. Bucharest no. 315;
  • The church „St. Emperors Constantine and Helen ”- Volna, 1856, Str. Heroes no. 2
  • Dumitru Bazu House, 1939, Str. Heroes no. 38;
  • Christian Church after the Gospel, 1916, Str.Grivita no. 52;
  • Former Calarasi court, 1905, Str.Grivita no. 86;
  • Crutescu House, 1896, Str. Heliade-Radulescu Ion no. 13;
  • Moia House, today Baptist Church, 1915, Str. Heliade-Radulescu Ion no. 13;
  • State Archives, 1897, Pompierilor Street no. 1 (arch. Cioconi);
  • Grup Scolar Agricol, 1929 – 1938, Str. Bucharest extension no. 8;
  • Calarasi County Prefecture, 1898, Str. Sloboziei no. 1, (arch. Cioconi);
  • Calarasi County Court, inc. sec.XX, Str.Viitor nr. 69;
  • + 51 houses built between 1888 and 1930.

Protected historical monuments in Călărași

Urban Morphology

As an urban form, the city is adapted to the position and geomorphological features of the territory. its tissue is linear, orthogonal, oriented with the long side parallel to the bank of the Danube. The street plot is differentiated according to the main connections of the city with the territory. The main street – Prelungirea Bucuresti – crosses the urban fabric, parallel to the waterfront, and Eroilor Street connects the city with the southern area, Chiciu, and making the connection with the Western Belt. The central area is detached by the presence of larger urban islands, with important institutions and services for the city (Prefecture, City Hall, County Council, Museum, school, church, etc.). A particular element is the pedestrian street 1 Decembrie 1918, between the Prefecture and the central hall, an area that was originally designed for trade and the promenade, with the potential to re-arrange the public space, currently having too few points of interest and too few connections to the waterfront.

Green Urban Structure

The green structure of the city follows the linear and rectangular plot of the streets, with a concentration of signs arranged on the waterfront (central park, prefecture square, zoo, stadium) and with some points of recreational interest in the vicinity(beaches).

Focus area

The study area is situated in the south part of Călărași, near the city center, on the riverbank of the Danube. Part of our route was through one of the green areas of the city, and the other part was through the city center and the residential area. The total distance we covered in one track was approx. 2.5 km.


Problem description

In our study we researched and analyze the urban public space, making some tracks in the city center that connects services of public interest important for the local communities (the Danube riverbank, urban public garden, public bibliotheque, administrative institution, and health institution), using the bikes and an electric scooter.

For a better understanding and a complete overview of the zone, we collected information in an organized way using the application OsmAnd which is a GIS-based program that has a database where we tracked our path in the city. Along our route, we marked some points with images, videos, and sounds where we considered some problems or some strong points for our project.

Research questions

  1. How to use and apply alternative data acquisition techniques, based on GIS, for the purpose of spatial analysis and planning of Danubian small and medium-small cities?
  2. How to test and assess alternative data acquisition techniques and create together an overview of the potentials and limits of these methods?
  3. How to work simultaneously together and separated and presenting/ visualizing the observation and data acquisition results on a common project blog?
bikeability map


  • Geometry of paths –  Our study area is part of an orthogonal morphology of the city and it is orientated with the long side along the Danube river. The study area has predominant linear streets.
  • State of pavements –  Along our route we experienced various types of textures on the ground with different kinds of quality from really good to bad.
  • Equipment for disabilities – no (very few). Most transition between different kinds of circulation had some improvision for ramps and some transition was not designed at all for bikers, electric scooters, or wheels
  • OwnershipMost of the streets were public spaces where we could transit without problems along our track. Along the riverbank in the park, the entrance of the bikes was restricted but the main paths were used by bikers.
  • Uses – Along our track, we remarked various types of activities most of them related to public services like parks, restaurants, bibliotheque, shops and also residential areas.
  • Water visibility and connectivityThe city center does not have a strong relation with the Danube river. Along our route, we could spot the water just from the path that was created along the river in the public park. When you start to take a distance from this area you don’t have any kind of signs to the water. There are no perspective or any other types of design that can lead you to the existence of some natural elements(Danube).
  • Dedicated bike paths – In Călărași there are not any kind of dedicated lanes for bikes in the city center or other neighborhoods. Also along the river in the public garden, the bikes were restricted. Some streets were unsafe for bikers because of the width of the streets and the high traffic of the cars.
  • Bicycle parking spaces – very few or improvisation. The only designed parking spot for bikes it was near the hospital. Other spaces where we could see the need for these facilities was near the river bank for the local fisherman.


  • General ambiance – good. The ambiance was really good and pleasant when we used the paths that were designed for pedestrians, bikers, or when we used the smaller streets that are used just by the neighborhoods. Sometimes because of the poor design of the streets, we got lost and we could not orient ourselves for some moments.
  • Traffic Noise and pollution – medium. Depending on the area that we transit the traffic noise and pollution were different. We could hear it and feel it most of the time when we were on the main streets of the city where the space was used for transit.
  • Social aspects– The public park along the river was used by many categories of peoples and groups. We could spot groups of children and also elders that were doing their activities sometimes in open space but without any kind of relationship with the water. On the river, the only users were the fisherman. Another public open pedestrian space was in front of the public library but was barely used by the locals, most of them just transiting the space. Other groups of youths (bikers, skaters, rollers) were spotted on the entrance of different buildings that had space and design for their activity.


The area and the track that we observed in Călărași has a big potential of becoming a pole of leisure activities and culture for the communities that exist in the city because of the position in the city, the natural elements (Danube) the existent activities and services that are already there. The actual problem is that each kind of space does not speak to the others and many of them are taken out from the context. The stakeholders should speak together and make a strategy for developing the actual potential that can be lost.

Regarding the use of bicycles especially in the city center, we understand that many locals are followers of this kind of transport and they try to adapt in the given context. Right now in the city, there is no kind of bike lanes, dedicated spaces, or specially designed spaces for bikers even if there are many users. Because of the morphology of the city that is orthogonal, it is quite simple to orient yourself from a space to another even when riding a bike. Many streets are not marked properly or designed well, so, because of that sometimes you can get lost and confused but just in a few places.


Task I: Preparation of data acquisition

  • participation to the online presentations
  • installing OsmAnd
  • troubleshooting
  • informing about site
  • creating the groups on topics
  • creating the FB group
  • dialogue with teachers

Task II: Data acquisition:

  • going on site – Calarasi
  • meeting with stakeholder – Calarasi Museum
  • starting the route
  • taking pictures, video, notes

Task III: Data preparation

  • Cleaning data
  • Sharing data

Task IV: Web-mapping

  • checking the photo location accuracy on
  • importing the .gpx file with the tracks and markers on geojson platform
  • adjusting the geometry of the track
  • Number of tracks recorded: 2
  • Number of markers recorded: 64
  • Number of media created: 64 (52 photos, 12 video files)

Methodological reflection

  • Problems/difficulties encountered?

We didn’t encounter any serious problems in the methodology process. The only difficulty we had was in the web mapping phase, regarding the small geometrical errors of the recorded track.

  • What was easy?

The data acquisition and preparation were the easiest parts because they were directly connected and they did not require any additional knowledge.

  • Potentials and constraints in using the methodology

One of the potentials of using the methodology was the consistent preparation of data acquisition and the troubleshooting meetings which helped us to clarify some aspects.

As a particular constraint, we can mention the relatively short time we had for the data acquisition on-site, due to the fact that we had only one day to go there and collect them.

  • What was good/bad suited to illustrate the observations

Using visual material such as pictures was the best way to highlight the pros and cons of the bikeability concept in Calarasi.

We want to thank the host of our tour in Calarasi, Florin Radulescu, and the Calarasi Municipal Museum for helping and guiding us.

Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urban Planning

Team members


Belgrade Bikeability

Research focus

Our group is focused on reviewing existing bike lanes and finding potential points for improvement. We know that there are a lot of prospective elements of the selected area that are in desperate need of an upgrade.

The expected result is the proposition of consistent bike lanes throughout the area that lacks this kind of infrastructure. Belgrade is a large city with no metro transportation. The traffic infrastructure is no longer handling the number of cars per resident, so many people are changing their preferred transport option to bicycles.

We are hoping that this is going to be the starting point for new and improved bike lanes throughout the city of Belgrade.

Zemun, Belgrade


The location is Zemun, a municipality of the city of Belgrade. It is on the right bank of the Danube, where the widening of the Danube begins and the Great War Island is formed at the confluence with the Sava river. One of the most interesting things about this location in Belgrade is the waterfront. The view that stretches across the Danube and on to the coast of Great War Island is memorable. Existing bike lanes are mainly positioned on the waterfront. The urban area (center of Zemun) is lacking the bike lanes.

We had two bike routes.

FIRST: from the Municipality Hall of Belgrade alongside the coast of Danube to the end of the waterfront in Zemun.

SECOND: from the end of the waterfront (or beginning) through the urban area of Zemun, to the “Student City” of Belgrade, located in New Belgrade Municipality.

The first route is more used by the people for recreational cycling, and the second is used more by people doing daily activities or running errands (going to the market, cafe, the post office, etc.)

Our two tracks combined are around 10 km (5 km each). We documented our riding trip location with the OsmAnd Application, where we recorded our track, took some photos, videos, and put markers with notes on important places.

Recognizing the elements of bikeability

Tour 1

The first route started from the Municipality Hall of New Belgrade. There was a bike path, integrated with pedestrian paths in the urban area, but with a different pavement, all the way to the starting point on the Zemun Waterfront. As we got to the waterfront there were signs that show us in which way should we ride our bikes depending on where we want to get. At one part of the waterfront, there were isolated bike lines with good signalization and pavement, materials, in natural surroundings.

As we go further to the Zemun Municipality, alongside the waterfront, the isolated bike path transforms into an integrated bike path with pedestrian paths and at one point there is no bike path at all. In one part of the tour where there are no bike paths, there are two levels of waterfront, one near the water, and one above it. The first one has stone slabs as pavement, which is not comfortable for riding a bike. The other one has concrete, but at some point there are holes in the concrete, which makes riding a bike more uncomfortable, considering you’re riding on the same paths where pedestrians are. But at this point, you have an amazing view of the Danube River.

At some point on the pedestrian path, you have to go on the lower level if you want to continue your tour till the end of the waterfront. The ramp that takes you down has macadam as pavement and that is really uncomfortable if you are on a bike. As you go down, the pavement is concrete again, in a good condition. The path alongside the waterfront suddenly ends with no warning sign.

Tour II

The second path was from the ending point of waterfront, through the historic core of Zemun, to “Student City” (i.e. the dormitory capmus of the Universit of Belgrade) in New Belgrade. At first, we rode a bike alongside parking that has no pavement, only bare land. Then we rode on a street with a macadam pavement.

We rode on that street until we did not reach the Zemun Center, where we pass by the Zemun open market, trying not to collide with pedestrians because there was no bike path. Actually, there was no bike path through the entire center. We rode a bike on pedestrian paths, and at some point on streets.

As we left Zemun and entered New Belgrade, a bike path appeared. This bike path is integrated with pedestrian paths in the urban area, but with a different pavement. There are minor holes in the path at some points. This bike path was present until we got to the “Student City” in New Belgrade.

Types of existing bike paths

  • Isolated bike paths with good signalization and pavement, materials, in natural surroundings

Those bike paths are in one part of Zemun waterfront. You can ride your bike in natural surroundings, away from pedestrians and traffic.

  • Integrated bike paths with pedestrian paths in the urban area and alongside the waterfront

This path is connected to an isolated one. The pavement is the same as for pedestrians, and at many points, you have cracks in concrete, and there is a small place where the pavement is stone panels. Pedestrians can walk on a bike path, so you need to be careful.

  • Bike paths alongside streets integrated with pedestrian paths in the urban area
    This is the most common bike path in our tours. The biggest problem with this type is that pedestrians can walk on a bike path, so you need to be careful. The pavement is mostly good, there are minor holes at some point.
  • No bike paths
    Along the whole Zemun center, there are no bike paths at all. You need to ride a bike on pedestrian paths, even at some points on the street. You can find a problem with the pavement, like cracks, holes..

Best Regards from Belgrade!

Aleksandra Ljubičić | Nikolina Rašović | Jelena Leković | Anja Popović


Vienna on bike

Mobility requires human-scale and eco-compatible forms of transport. The City of Vienna is committed to prioritize public transport, pedestrians and cycling as the most environmentally friendly mobility modes. “Vienna embodies a future-oriented urban mobility policy that is not only ecologically, but also economically and socially acceptable and hence sustainable. it is economically sustainable because it is based on long-term investment that pays off for the city and location. it is socially sustainable because its declared goal is to ensure mobility for all citizens irrespective of their income, social position and life situation. it is ecologically sustainable because it helps to conserve natural resources and contributes to realize the Smart City Wien objective.

Quote from STEP 2025

The City of Vienna has in general a good mobility system, with demarked bicycle paths and bicycle routes that connects the public and green areas along the Danube river and with proper signage. The challenges in Vienna are focused on an conception level. The shared mobility concept, in which various users, use the same space in order to make it more liveble and widely used.

  • what can we learn from Vienna’s urban bikebility system?

The modal split shows the percentage of persons that use a type of transportation. As shown in the graphic below, the percentage of cyclists has risen by 4% from 1993. With increasing bicycle traffic, conflicts between cyclists on existing bicycle infrastructures can arise. [STEP 2025 Thematic concept: Urban Mobility Plan Vienna]


So we wanted to show this concept with its advantages and disadvantages and therefore we marked a typical route for a cyclist from a city quartier to the Technical University Vienna main building, which goes along through heterogen public spaces. This enable the cyclist to move quickly and secure, but it has also its disadvantages.

Hamerlingplatz is an example of the concept of shared spaces, that shows a mix of mobility where pedestrians and cyclists share the same space. This feature is widely used in public spaces in Vienna in order to make places more lively and attractive.

source: blog authors

The shared space has also its disadvantage. This section is an example on constricted vision and a fast speed of the bicycle lane, which can cause conflict between pedestrians and cyclists. The difference of speed between users and the frequencies

source: blog authors

In the intersections between bicycle paths, the area is increased in a way that allows different users to keep moving without obstacles. However, there are some natural elements that were not taken in consideration and can generate conflict at times with the greatest confluence of user.

source: blog authors

At the crossing between the Technical University of Vienna and the Library is also an example of shared spaces and their organization for security. In the traffic are different users.

source: blog authors

Due to the increasing bicycle traffic and other users, the need for an increase in efficiency and comfort of use has become apparent on some routes, especially on the shared streets. In addition to increasing traffic safety and user comfort, wider cycle paths would enable a greater variety of uses. This can be done by switching or the conversion of areas of car traffic that become (lanes, turning and parking strips).


We selected a route that goes through various public spaces. The recorded a track goes from a residential quartier to an public facility, in this case the Technical University of Vienna. This track is selected because of the high number of users on public places along the road and participants on the path. We collected data about obstacles and problematic situations along the track, like: crossings, usage conflicts, etc. In total we recorded 6 markers and shoot 23 photos. The selected photos are published in this webpage. To record and store the spatial data we used OsmAnd Application.