My name is Khashayar Kazemzadeh, and I am a postdoctoral researcher in sustainable mobility at Chalmers University of Technology. My current research aims to quantify the substitution impact of electric scooters (e-scooters), as well as their parking issues.
Prior to my postdoctoral fellowship, I obtained my Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering from the Division of Transport & Roads, Lund University, in August 2021. During my doctoral research, I proposed a framework to develop a level of service index for electric bikes (e-bikes). I supported the framework idea by conducting different research setups such as a controlled experiment, interviews and a survey.
My main research interest is developing strategies to make active mobility a comfortable and reliable transport mode. More specifically, I am interested in evaluating the quality of service for powered micro-mobility (e.g. e-bikes and e-scooters) and understanding how they can be integrated into transport systems to expand the applications of conventional cycling.
Is it easy to keep cycling safe?
The cycling condition has substantially changed in the past few years, and providing a safe and comfortable cycling infrastructure is getting more challenging. Various challenges are associated with cycling safety. First, several emerging modes such as e-scooters and e-bikes use bike facilities; therefore, bike lanes’ heterogeneity has drastically increased. These transport modes with various navigation characteristics (e.g. speed regime and acceleration) increase the chance of users’ interaction in bike lanes, thus affecting user safety. Next, the capacity and subsequently performance of bike lanes and shared spaces are affected by emerging modes. This might be because these facilities have not been mainly designed for the demand of emerging modes. Also, the lack of users’ experience, education and regulation for emerging modes and premature operation in transport systems could affect the traffic safety of all road users. Moreover, pavement distress affects cycling safety and comfort. This is because the bike riders need to adjust their speed and position to avoid pavement distress (e.g. potholes). Consequently, such navigations could increase the chance of conflict with other road users or the loss of riders’ balance.
What do we understand from the current cycling situation?
- Engineering, education and enforcement (3’E’ approach) is vital to provide a safe active mobility facility. In other words, improving transport infrastructure for cyclists, safety education for users (especially regarding emerging modes), and enforcement of safe riding significantly enhance active mode safety.
- The advantages of separated bike facilities have been proven in many studies; however, scarce research has addressed the challenges associated with them (e.g., the heterogeneity within those facilities due to the presence of e-bikes and e-scooters).
- It is crucial to note that the safety issue of active mobility is not the presence of emerging modes but rather the lack of consolidated planning to operationalise them.
- A significant research strand in the current situation is to analyse the interaction of cyclists with emerging modes and understand how shared space could safely accommodate different transport modes with various characteristics (e.g. modes with a high-speed difference).
- There is a dire need for collaboration between the research community and authorities to develop and enhance policies to operate emerging modes and safely integrate them into transport planning.