Distance and Subjective Safety in Cycling




The first data for Aachen of the OBS and the SimRa app are available.



The registration phase for the study is now closed. We thank everyone for their active interest and will contact all interested parties with further information as soon as possible.


An inter- and transdisciplinary study using distance, motion and qualitative interviews in Aachen


Cycling as an everyday mode of transport is a central component of a mobility transition towards a more sustainable mobility culture. Many studies on the decision to cycle are characterized by a disciplinary approach and a strong reference to transport infrastructure. Previous research has shown that safety concerns are relevant for cyclists' decision to commit to cycling long-term and that more inter- and transdiciplinary data is needed on the concept of subjective safety (see Cycling study). Particularly in dense urban areas, spatial conflicts on the road in mixed traffic are increasing, which may negatively impact on the willingness to use the bicyle as everyday mode of transport. 

There is a need for stronger interdisciplinary as well as transdisciplinary collaboration that considers cycling safety from different perspectives and integrates civil society engagement more strongly into cycling mobility research. Against this background, a study is presented that investigates cycling safety in the city of Aachen. Our study, led by the RWTH research groups GDI and cultural geography as part of the ACCESS! graduate college and in cooperation with the TU Berlin, investigates cycling safety in the city of Aachen. It aims to capture the subjective and measured safety of cyclists in a multi-methodical approach, using motion data combined with subjective assessments of incidents measured via the SimRa app, data on overtaking vehicles measured via OpenBikeSensors, and qualitative interviews. The study is designed and conducted in cooperation with the Aachen branch of the German cyclists' association ADFC Aachen e.V. and the citizens' initiative "Fahrradfreundliches Haaren e.V.". It aims to contribute to a better understanding of subjective safety in transport and a diverse and inclusive cycling culture.




Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen


Sustainable Development Goals

SDGs 10 and 11 © UN

As part of a mobility transition towards more sustainable and socially inclusive forms of mobility in cities, cycling connects to all dimensions of sustainability. However, many factors must be taken into account to strengthen cycling. To better address the issue of cycling safety, concepts of diversity, inclusion and equity and greater trans- and interdisciplinary collaboration are needed to better integrate civil society engagement and diversity perspectives into research on cycling mobility.

Learn more about GDI's teaching and research activities related to these goals:

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities