The city of Wuppertal is a good example for the characteristic city and transport development in Germany in the recent decades: After a strong development of car traffic, the possibilities of walking and cycling are becoming increasingly interesting. Besides the ecological and social advantages, the bike has developed to be a cultural expression of urban life style to more and more people. Still, the conditions for cycling in Wuppertal are extremely difficult: The valley axis of the city is characterised by car-friendly infrastructure, while the upper parts are only accessible by roads with a steep slope. At the same time, the local budgetary situation significantly lowers the scope of action of the city administration.
The project developed strategies for the promotion of cycling adapted to the circumstances within Wuppertal. The ideas and concepts were be compiled in cooperation with all interested local policy makers and advocacy groups. As possible constraints and potentials may be relevant for other German cities as well, the developed concepts for Wuppertal were examined for transferability.
In a first step, the most relevant aspects of using the bicycle were gathered. This includes infrastructural prerequisites, security aspects, image and reputation of the bicycle in Wuppertal as well as specific local conditions such as the local weather situation and the topographic characteristics. As a second task, local stakeholders were asked for their evaluation and ideas concerning the situation and future development options of bicycling in Wuppertal. Finally, based on the results of the preceding steps, a roadmap for the promotion of bicycling in Wuppertal was developed in consultation with the involved stakeholders.
The project motivated local decision makers to conduct initiatives to promote the bicycle. For instance, the city labelled a number of routes "secret paths for cyclists", which are safe and even with the ground.