School of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Three Years of Bicyle Traffic: A review

02.05.2024|09:00 Uhr

The Bicycle Traffic Team celebrates its third anniversary!

April 1st marked the third anniversary of the Chair of Bicycle Traffic—a fitting moment to reflect on the past year with its numerous events and progress! Supported by much organisational work to build our team over the past two years, we are proud to have launched and completed multiple research projects, expand our range of teaching offerings, and actively participated in multiple international and national scientific conference.


Over the last year, our team has welcomed three new research assistants, a new student assistant, and two guest researchers. Danil Belihov brought his expertise on microscopic traffic modeling to our team in May 2023 and is now in his second year supporting Heather Kaths deliver our Master’s module "Microscopic Modeling and Simulation" in the summer semester. Matthias Schaarwächter then joined our team in June to further develop our teaching offerings and who worked with Cat Silva and Heather Kaths to develop and instruct the first iteration of our Bachelor's module "Cycling Traffic Management". We then welcomed Jack Stockman in October who is dedicated to developing and conducting studies using our bicycle simulator. Katharina Langenscheidt, our student assistant, began working at our Chair in July to manage our website and support our research activities. Finally, we were excited to start 2024 by welcoming guest doctoral researchers Guillermo Pérez Castro from Sweden and Guiseppe Capelli from Italy, who joined us for research exchanges in Wuppertal for one and three months respectively.

In addition to the many new people in the BT team, a cargo bike has also been part of the chair since last year. It is used to transport various things, of course, but also for research purposes. It can also be borrowed by BUW students and staff.

As our team has grown, we have also said goodbye to three student assistants, Felix Heldmann, Peter Kersten and Doha Meslem as they moved on to new opportunities. We wish them all the best for the future and are delighted that they were part of the BT team.


A main focus of our team over the past year has been to continue advance our existing research projects and develop proposals for new research.

In the TiptoP project, thanks to more than 30 volunteer cyclists, extensive data collection took place in the summer and the resulting data set is now being analyzed to form the basis for the development of new models for traffic simulation. In the PLUG-IN project, which contributes to the further development of macroscopic models for conventional and electric bicycle traffic, the modelling of the procurement choice was completed and work on the modelling of the module choice was started. As part of the NUErLast project, an induction loop meter was initially installed on the Nordbahn route in collaboration with the city of Wuppertal. The data collected was used to develop an algorithm that can differentiate between normal bicycles and cargo bikes. The algorithm was evaluated using data collected in the city of Münster and this project was completed by Aboozar Roosta in February 2024. The “Building Cycling Futures” project was then completed in December. Funded through a 15-month Erasmus Mundus Design Measures grant, this project served a platform to develop future teaching collaborations with international partners. With a joint Master’s study programme as a long-term goal, this project concluded with an agreement to establish Erasmus+ exchange programmes with Lund University in Sweden creating new opportunities for student learning.

In addition to all these projects, which started in 2022, a new project, BIKEhub, was added this year. It lasted six months and was funded by the BMBF. In the BIKEhub project, a consortium of three BUW chairs and the Wuppertal Institute, led by our chair, will use a real-world laboratory approach to research the establishment and use of a pedelec and e-scooter rental system in Wuppertal. The project was successfully completed at the end of 2023 with the submission of the project outline for the implementation phase.

Our team has also published several articles this past year. Please feel free to take a look here.


The range of courses offered by the LuFG Cycling was further expanded.  In addition to the existing Master's module "Microscopic Modeling and Simulation", the two Bachelor's modules "Cycling Project" and "Cycling Management" were offered for the first time. Organized by Leonard Arning and Cat Silva in the summer semester, students in the “Cycling Project” courses learned to work with quantitative and qualitative data, reviewed research articles, and were assigned to carry out and evaluate cases study intersections in Wuppertal using our Miovision camera.
In the Winter semester, Heather Kaths, Matthais Schaarwächter and Cat Silva then introduced the students in the “Bicycle Traffic Management” course to a variety of relevant topics for understanding, designing, and managing bicycle traffic. Examples of topics included safety, multimodality and the promotion of cycling. Students applied the knowledge they learned to case study cities to critically assess existing cycling conditions and propose solutions to key local challenges.

In addition to developing and instructing these courses, our team was also pleased supervise four students completing their final thesis on cycling-related topics. This included two Bachelor’s these written by Insa Weiz and Timo Schmidt and two Master’s theses written by Felix Heldmann and Faisal Hamood Bashar. We congratulate them on completing this milestone and look forward to seeing how their careers progress in the next years. Our team is currently supervising seven other thesis students and is seeking additional BUW students to write their thesis on one of the open topics we advertise on our website. If you are also interested in writing your Bachelor's or Master's thesis at our department, please take a look at our website and contact us!

Alongside our regular teaching and supervision activities, last year we began working together with the other chairs in the Center for Mobility and Transport over the last year to plan future restructuring and internationalisation of the Bachelor and Masters degree study programmes in Transport Economics Engineering. Our organized two internal workshops with our colleagues and Matthias Schaarwächter participated in a workshop on the topic ‘Framework conditions for foreign and multilingual degree programmes’ organised by the German Rectors' Conference to gain further training in the area of teaching


In addition to our work to develop research and teaching, our team had the honour of hosting the first Annual Meeting of the Cycling Research Board (CRBAM) held in Germany in October 2023. Cat Silva, a member of the CRBAM Steering Committee, was the lead organiser of this conference with significant support from Leonard Arning, Claudia Heldmann, and our student assistants to plan and offer an engaging three-day programme. We were pleased to welcome 131 participants from 19 countries at various stages of their careers to join us to share, discuss, and advance the fundamental and applied cycling research being done by this international, interdisciplinary community of cycling experts. Over the course of the three days at the Codeks Factory, 95 speakers shared their work through the 28 presentation- and workshop-based sessions centred around four key research themes: Culture and Attitude, Infrastructure and Design, Modelling and Simulation, and Policy and Decision-Making. Together with the scientific sessions, many opportunities for informal dialog and networking were built in to the programme.

Our team members also attended and presented their research at several other international conferences, such as the SUMO User Conference at DLR in Berlin in May 2023, the ‘Bicycle and motorbike dynamics conference’ at TU Delft in October 2023 and the ‘International Cycling Safety Conference’ in The Hague in November 2023. Several team members also took part in the ‘Centre for Sustainable Future Mobility Symposium’ and the ‘E-Bike City Project Symposium’ at ETH Zurich in June 2023 and the annual University Conference on Transportation for transportation researchers in the German speaking world organised by RWTH Aachen University in September 2023. Other conferences attended by our team within Germany over the last year includ the ‘PolisMOBILITY Conference’ in May 2023, the ‘National Cycling Congress’ in Frankfurt in June 2023, and the ‘Heureka Conference 2024’ in Stuttgart in March 2024.

In the coming year, we look forward to our continued participation in national and international conferences to highlight our research to a broader community and network with like-minded researchers.

Other activities

In addition to the many research, teaching, and networking activities we were involved in over the last year, our team also planned plenty of fun team-building events. Our annual team hike took place in June when we walked through the beautiful Neandertal valley and ended with a barbecue. With several team members from North America, our team also organised our first Thanksgiving dinner featuring a typical dishes prepared and enjoyed by everyone on our team. To close out 2023, we led the organisation of the second annual Christmas Party for the Center for Transport and Mobility where we exchanged small gifts and shared a wonderful evening with our colleagues.

We are looking forward to the coming year which we expect will bring exciting new opportunities. Please visit our website regularly to keep up to date with our current events.

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