The planning and construction of the local cycling network in Olbia was embedded in the regional Cycling Network at the level of Sardinia.
The cycling infrastructure deployment within the Municipality of Olbia started relatively late, within a general lack of cycling infrastructure throughout the island of Sardinia.
The tenders for the different sections have been done at different moments in the last years, and awarded to different planners, thus the coordination with the regional administration creates a framework for recognisability, as no specific “visual identity” guidelines were provided with it – as this was not considered originally.
The Regional Administration of Sardinia had in the meantime started its process for designing the Regional Cycling Network, in cooperation with the Faculty for Transport Planning of the University of Cagliari. The network is in the process of being involved into the Eurovelo Network 8-B with Corsica, which also require common features.
The inclusion of the urban cycling intervention within the Regional Cycling Network has allowed defining common cycling features and signposting, in order to allow the recognisability and continuity of the infrastructure also among the local infrastructure.
The local users will benefit the most, especially those who are using the bicycle as a transport mode and those who only use it for recreational purposes.
Of course, visitors will also be the beneficiary of this approach, since Olbia is the main port and airport of the northern part of Sardinia, so they can access the regional network more easily.
The most important is the existence of a strong cooperation in between professionals in charge with planning at both local and regional level, so that the cycling networks (including the auxiliaries as signposting) are coherent and compatible.
Evidence of success
The whole practice is still in its deployment process, though planning has almost been completed.
There is no doubt though, that without common planning guidelines, the risk of infrastructure being inconsistent would be high.
Potential for learning or transfer
In cities where the planning of infrastructure does not come at once, the risk of scattered interventions is high, considering that often staff members of the different public offices rotate, and planning and works cannot be followed by the same persons.
To avoid facing this problem, municipalities should consider providing detailed guidelines to planners for features that must be ensured in all cases.
Above all when towns and cities are small and new to building cycling and walking infrastructure consciously, they tend to give little importance to the fact that transport mode should all be offered same dignity and have origins and destinations that need to be connected as clearly as for the other modes of transport.