The technical guideline for bicycle infrastructure design in urban areas was released on Monday in Hanoi by the Technical Infrastructure Agency under the Ministry of Construction.
The guideline, the first of its kind in Vietnam, is built upon lessons learned from recent cycling infrastructure and road safety projects in Vietnamese cities, as well as insights gained from international case studies.
It is expected to allow a safer and more convenient ride experience for cyclists and will promote daily use of bicycles among all ages and abilities.
Rapid urbanization leads to pressure on the management of urban public services, including a number of issues related to urban transportation and the environment.
The existing urban road network in Vietnam often poses risks to cyclists and other vulnerable road users.
Many streets lack the necessary spaces and facilities for safety for pedestrians and cyclists, according to the guideline.
It highlights five key areas of action including designing bicycle infrastructure and intersections; minimizing traffic conflicts; providing traffic signals, pavement markings and supporting facilities.
“We encourage urban planners, urban designers, road engineers, and city managers to use this guideline as a reference in their works,” said Ta Quang Vinh, director general of the Technical Infrastructure Agency.
“This guideline provides both theoretical and technical solutions to bicycle facilities issues in line with the new urban roads design requirements in Vietnam,” added Vinh.
The transport sector accounts for more than 20 percent of global emissions, of which, road transport is responsible for more than 70 percent and urban transport is responsible for around 40 percent of total emissions of the sector.
Bicycles, on the other hand, are an accessible, safe, healthy, and environmentally friendly means of transport.
“Prioritizing bicycles as a daily means of transport is an effective, low-cost strategy that helps cities achieve their green growth goals and contributes to national net-zero emission commitments,” said Daniel Herrmann, chief technical advisor for a GIZ’s project to support Vietnam in implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Retno Wihanesta, senior program lead for urban transport planning of the World Resources Institute said: “The launch of Vietnam’s first technical guideline for bicycle infrastructure design marks a significant step in achieving sustainable urban mobility in the country.
“We recognize the bicycle's vital role as an economical, healthy, and environmentally friendly mobility option.
These guidelines set the groundwork for safer, more accessible cycling, promoting the city ’s livability. They can inspire more cities in Asia and worldwide to adopt bicycle-friendly infrastructure, fostering a healthier and inclusive urban future.”
The development of the technical guidelines was supported by Germany’s federal ministry for economic cooperation and development, the DeveloPPP project to pilot a public bike-sharing scheme in Vietnam towards sustainable urban mobility and smart cities, Bloomberg initiative for global road safety (BIGRS) project, and HealthBridge livable cities program.