Skip to main content
Mobility and Transport


Cycle maps provide information with the aim of aiding people to find their way whilst using a bicycle according to their preferences, but also to raise awareness regarding cycling.

Considerations for applicability

Cyclist icon

Level of cycling

Cycle maps are likely to be beneficial in cities with both low and high levels of cycling. Where low levels are experienced, the measure can help raise awareness and encourage uptake of cycling.

Topography cityscape icon

Urban layout/topography

Cycle maps may be useful in cities where there is particularly hilly terrain or other access-affecting urban layout issues which would benefit from making clear alternative routes for bicycles.

People icon


Cycle maps are likely to be beneficial in cities considered to be a tourist destination, in order to ensure that visitors to the city are able to successfully navigate the city by bicycle.

Cycle maps will also benefit any other local populations wishing to cycle within a city.

Euro coin icon

Finance Resources

Development and provision of cycle maps (printed and online/via smart devices) can be a relatively low-cost measure to implement. Cost will be associated with gathering of data on cycling facilities production of the map, printing, distribution and any costs associated with making maps available online.

In Gdansk, the collection of data/information to create the cycling maps cost approximately €10,000. Printed maps cost €0.30 per unit.

In Budapest, printing of 36,000 maps cost approximately €25,000.

Clock icon representing time

Time & Human Resources

The time and human resources required to develop cycling maps for a city will vary depending on the size of the city and the extent of existing data on cycling routes and facilities within a city.

Where maps are being produced for the first time, it may be necessary to collect extensive (GIS) data on the location of routes and facilities, or utilise existing open-source information where possible. For all maps, this information will need to be regularly updated.

Map production time will include the detailed design, and consideration of any other information to be included on the map (promotional, raising awareness etc).

Measure impact highlight

3 way arrow representing accessibility


The production and use of maps, including cycling routes and facilities, is likely to increase accessibility within a city, particularly when complemented with appropriate signage.

Note: An overview of the direct and indirect impacts resulting from correctly implemented cycling measures is available in{Challenges that cities face and how cycling can address them as Link}.

In-depth measure analysis, case studies and further guidance

[collapse title=Detailed description of the measure]

Key features

Maps are a form of information, communication and promotion, enabling people who occasionally or regularly cycle to successfully navigate a city by bicycle.

Provision of local city maps which include additional information on cycle routes and cycling facilities (such as secure parking, repair/maintenance facilities, bicycle sharing/rental points/stations) ensures that basic information enabling residents/visitors who wish to cycle is made available. Maps are not necessarily restricted to cycling, but may also include information on a range of transport modes, such as public transport routes and stations/stops, pedestrian facilities and taxi ranks etc. Maps can also be accessed via a number of formats, including hard copies, downloadable/viewable online or in a more interactive format via an app.

Cyclist looking at map

Function and objectives

Maps can provide cyclists with information regarding the location of cycling routes, facilities and services and the ability to navigate between them. Cycle maps may be used to indicate the routes (or alternative routes) that are considered safe, or safer, directing cyclists away from routes considered to be more dangerous. A secondary objective for maps is often to raise awareness and visibility of cycling as a transport mode within a city.

Complementary measures

As mentioned earlier, maps can help to raise awareness and visibility of cycling as an alternative mode of transport, complementing other measures that fall under Information, Communication and Promotion, in particular{Signage and Wayfinding as Link} and{Provision of Information and Awareness Raising as Link}.

Whilst these measures can play an important role in raising awareness regarding cycling, it is important for supporting cycling-related infrastructure to be in place in order for residents/visitors to maximise the use of cycling. However, maps can provide information on the most appropriate routes for people who cycle taking into consideration the current status of the cycling/road network within a city.


Very little information is available in terms of the evaluated performance of cycling maps. Like other information and awareness raising tools, cycling maps rely to some extent on the provision of other cycling infrastructure, measures and facilities in order to successfully influence cycling modal share. Maps can contribute to achieving this by raising awareness of existing infrastructure and routes.

Accessibility is also likely to be increased through the provision of information to residents/visitors on existing routes/facilities for bicycles and easier navigation of these routes with complementary signage.

Therefore, awareness through the provision of maps identifying key facilities could help to increase cycling mode share (and other secondary impacts associated with increased cycling mode share) and increase accessibility.

Cycle maps can help to reduce the barriers to cycling, whilst increasing awareness and increasing the ease and comfort of cycling.

Parameters of success or failure

It is important for maps (paper and online) to be attractive, containing clear and easy to understand information aimed at residents and visitors to the city. In cities considered to be tourist destinations, information in a number of languages may be desirable (see Gdansk cycling map – published in Polish, English, German and Russian).

Routes and facilities should be clearly marked. Cities may want to consider continuing colour themes used for other cycle infrastructure/routes within the city, including any city-specific branding. This will contribute to raising awareness of cycling within the city but may also assist with maximising recognition and comprehension amongst all users.

Cycling maps should avoid an overload of information at the expense of readability of the map by its users. To ensure readability for all potential users, cities can look at supporting measures such as wayfinding and maps using other approaches, such as the City of Bolzano (Italy) that applied a metro line-type schemes to its cycling map and signposting (see Rad-Metro Bozen case study, in signage and wayfinding).

Cities should consider the intended users of maps, including whether it is aimed at tourists or residents of a city. For example, an everyday trip from A to B may focus on direct functional routes and associated cycle services, whereas tourists may prefer more scenic routes and may need to identify key tourist destinations.

It is also important for all information provided to be relevant and up to date – therefore the information provided on maps needs to be regularly assessed, reviewed and updated. In order to do this, a database of cycling assets should be kept up to date.

Cities may want to use maps as a way of disseminating additional information regarding cycling to users. This may include information on other local bicycle initiatives or measures, local cycling facts and figures, cycle safety, cycling and public transport information etc. (see Budapest cycling map).

At its simplest level, the production of cycle maps and route planners can be transferred to any city.

The dissemination of cycle maps is also key to their success. Cities should initially consider whether maps will be free or if they will incur a cost. They should also be available at a number of locations, including tourist information, public transport stations and hubs, schools and other education facilities, other public buildings/locations, cycling events, and online.


[collapsed title=Case studies]

[collapsed title=Cycling map (Budapest, HU)]

  • Location: Baltics, Eastern, Central
  • Population: Larger urban area (1.7 million)
  • Cycling Modal Share: Starter (2%)

The Centre for Budapest Transport, BKK launched a new city cycling map in August 2018. The map has been produced to support Budapest’s goal to increase cycling mode split from 2% to 10% by 2030. BKK research has identified that 30-40% of Budapest’s inhabitants have never cycled but are open to cycling – this is one of their main target group. The map is aimed at both experienced and new cyclists.




Credit: BKK Centre for Budapest Transport

A map of the whole city is included, in addition to a more detailed city centre map. The detailed street maps include key destinations of interest, but also highlights the principal cycling network connecting parts of the city, key cycling infrastructure and information, including the location of the following:

  • Main network; urban greenway; mountain bike path; Eurovelo Route 6; unpaved, unmarked or difficult sections; one-way bicycle routes; bicycle traffic counters; low-traffic streets; ordinary road or street; streets with heavy road traffic; streets where cycling is not allowed; MOL Bubi docking station; B+R bicycle parking station; Children’s traffic park/bike park; public pump;
  • Information relating to bikes on board: trains, public boats, transport pier, suburban railway, tram, trolleybus, bus.
  • Key points of interest: Lookout; arboretum; zoo; church; metro station; chairlift/funicular.

Detailed, easy to understand instructions are provided on how to use the map. In addition, key cycling infrastructure features are explained in detail (shared bus and bicycle lanes, one-way street opened to contraflow cycling, advanced stop lines, indirect left turn bike box).

The MOL Bubi bike sharing scheme is advertised on the map, including information on how to register and use the bicycles in the city (see also bicycle sharing and rental schemes).

Finally, key facts and figures relating to cycling in Budapest are included on the map. The map is available online (accompanied by an online bicycle route planner:, but printed copies of the map are also available from BKK customer service points, ticket offices and the Hungarian Cycling Club offices. The maps are also available in both Hungarian and English. The cost of printing 36,000 maps is around €25,000.


[collapsed title=Cycle map (Gdansk, PL)]

  • Location: Baltics, Eastern, Central
  • Population: Medium urban area (464,000)
  • Cycling Modal Share: Climber (6%)

City cycling maps have been available in Gdansk since 2007. Initially, the information provided was very simplistic, including just city roads and cycle lanes (built and planned). However, more recent versions of the maps include more detail, including information on bicycle parking, cycle streets and repair stations (approximately 30 around the city).

The map has been issued annually for over a decade. Currently, 10,000 hard copies of the map are distributed. However, in previous years over 100,000 have been issued (annually) when the aim was to distribute one to every household. The map is distributed to Gdansk’s inhabitants and tourists at no charge. In addition to a paper copy, the latest version is also available to download in PDF format from During periods when cycle infrastructure is introduced or improved, the map is updated more frequently.

The map is published in Polish, English, German and Russian. The content of the map is distinct from other such publications by its richness and precision and includes all types of cycling infrastructure, including bike lanes; bike parking; bike friendly-streets; contraflow roads; bike shops; cycle counters; and repair and tyre-pump stations.

The cost of preparing, printing and distributing can be relatively cheap. Where a city already has a geographical information system (mapped streets, buildings, green areas, water etc.), information is only required regarding the cycling network. TFor Gdansk (0.5 million inhabitants), the cost is estimated at €10,000 to collect all the cycling data/information and to create the content. There are extra costs to publish it online (low cost) or print as a paper map (more costly: €0.30 per unit).

In terms of time and manpower, it requires one person over the period of one month to create the content of Gdansk’s map and then around 40 hours to prepare it to be published.


Section of Gdansk cycling map including cycle paths, lanes and parking


No quantitative data has been collected regarding the performance of the map, only qualitative through communication with the public, which reflects a positive public opinion.

Key parameters of success/failure

A key factor for the success of the cycle maps is the demand for cycling information from inhabitants and tourists. The professional and detailed content is also key to its success. The map also supports most of the other cycling campaigns in the city and is distributed freely at congresses and events.


The concept of creating and distributing cycle maps is transferable to other cities. Where cities do not have the capabilities to produce maps themselves, this task can be outsourced.

Key insights and lessons learned

Whilst the information/data for the map was not readily available, it was possible to obtain the information through satellite images and personal trips.


[collapsed title=Cycling map for the Slatina region (linked to E-bike scheme) (Slatina, RO)]

  • Location: Baltics, Eastern, Central
  • Population: Small urban area (83,566)
  • Cycling Modal Share: Starter (0.7%)

The Slatina cycling map was developed to support the e-bike share project, which has the objective of stimulating regional mobility by means of connecting the 2nd and 3rd degree transport nodes to the TEN-T infrastructure, including multimodal nodes. The project was shaped and implemented by a consortium of Romanian and Bulgarian authorities and NGOs. It was implemented on the border area in Romania (7 counties) and Bulgaria (7 districts), comprising 32 cities and towns in total.

Supporting measures for the success of cycling maps as tools to encourage cycling are the supporting cycling facilities and infrastructure in the city itself, such as cycle lanes, cycle parking and bike sharing systems. Awareness campaigns aimed at the public also contribute to the success, particularly when focussed on promoting cycling as an acceptable way to travel to school and work, making car drivers aware of cyclists on the roads, and encouraging politeness and acceptance. There must also be consistency in the steps taken by the local authority in order to promote cycling as a means of transportation. Local authorities must also keep people interested in what is done next to improve and promote cycling in a city. In this respect, Slatina is currently considering measures relating to restricting traffic in the centre of the town, including setting up a parking system, implementing different parking rules and facilities and building dedicated bike lanes.


At present, Slatina is learning from other cities. Being a partner in CityMobilNet project has been very good for learning from other cities. Slatina is also contacting external experts to develop cycling measures. Importantly, the local inhabitants always have a say in the development of cycling policy.

Key insights and lessons learned

The two most significant barriers to cycling in Slatina are the culture of car use and the local topography. It would also be challenging to convince car owners to stop parking their cars in areas where bike lanes may be built. There is little support at the national level and currently no technical standards for bicycle lanes exist. To overcome these challenges, there is a need for campaigns focussing on raising the profile of cycling.


[collapsed title=Rad-Metro Bozen, including Maps (Bolzano, Italy)]

  • Location: Baltics/Eastern/Central
  • Population: Medium Urban Area (106,951)
  • Cycling Modal Share: Champion (26%)

Bolzano’s Rad-Metro Bozen is a network of bicycle paths, connecting users to every part of the city safely and quickly. The network has a clear corporate identity that guides cyclists through the city. The key objectives of the Rad-Metro Bozen was to give an identity to cycling. A logo was developed together with the design department of the university and a design company to help raise awareness for cycling in the population. The aim was to create a network of cycling lanes with a resemblance of public transport systems (Metro lines). Key design and implementation features are the signage across town, cycling lane colouring to imitate a metro system and a logo for cycling in Bolzano which can be found on signs, rental bikes etc. The accompanying cycle map displays the cycle lanes/routes in a similar format to a metro/underground map. The principal bicycle routes have different colours and names, and have been designed in the standardised corporate identity (logo, colours, style etc.). The reverse of the detailed map provides further details on the principal cycle routes, including the most important attractions, interchange with other cycle routes and service facilities. The map when folded is the size of a credit card, but opens to A3 size. It has been distributed via post to households, and is also given out at key points of interest in the city, including public offices, bicycle rental stations, sports facilities etc.


Bolzano cycle map

The full budget spent on the Rad-Metro Bozen is difficult to estimate since a lot of this work was done with funding from European projects, such as:

  • VIANOVA project: marketing, logo, “bicycle barometer” on one of the main bike lanes showing the total number of cyclists on the present day,
  • REZIPE: electric mobility, bicycle charging stations (for experience see discussion above)
  • Clean Air Initiative - European Biking cities1: sharing experiences with different cities across Europe


The performance of individual cycling measures has not been assessed within the city, although an indication of the overall impacts of all cycling measures can be provided. The cycling mode share in Bolzano has increased from 17% in 2001 to 26% in 2017.



[collapsed title=Key guidance, further reading and references]

Cycling Embassy of Denmark (2012) Collection of Cycling Concepts

20 JULY 2021
(14.46 MB - PDF)

CROW (2017) Design manual for bicycle traffic. Chapter 7

PRESTO (2010) Promotion/Information: Bicycle Maps, Give Cycling a Push Implementation Factsheet

Ökoinstitut Südtirol/Alto Adige (ND) Toolkit for the implementation of a corporate cycling system - Bicycle friendly Bolzano/Bozen

20 JULY 2021
(5.58 MB - PDF)