Every 3rd car trip in Graz is shorter than 3 km. This distance very often could easily be shifted to the bicycle. Sometimes cycling is popular in a city among cyclists but users of other modes of transport don’t know about the advantages of cycling for themselves and for the environment. Therefore these advantages have to be shown from time to time. This kind of (public) awareness is necessary not only for the citizens but also for decision makers and multipliers (like journalists).
Background & Objectives
The ‘Biker of the week’ campaign was organised in close co-operation with the daily newspaper of the province of Styria. During 6 weeks in the summer period articles were published about different issues: announcement of the competition with a focus on positive aspects, biking in the City of Graz: the traffic plans, politicians on bicycles, enhancing the quality for bikers; benchmarking, advantages of biking: health, flexibility & swiftness, best practices in Europe and a report on the award show with an outlook on the future for bicycle measures.
Each week a number of cyclists were pictured in the newspaper stating their reason for riding a bike. All readers from the newspaper could call or e-mail and vote for one of the randomly selected cyclists to become the “biker of the week”.>Both the voters and the selected bikers could win prizes. For the whole action more than 500 people participated.
The editor from the newspaper received letters from readers giving positive feedback on the initiative. The action was closed with a public award show at the main plaza of the city of Graz.
The driving force behind the action was Austrian Mobility Research FGM-AMOR who designed the action and convinced the biggest newspaper for this action. The citizens are the beneficiaries.
More than 500 people participated in this action. The awarded cyclists received their prizes and a certificate. The awarded voters received their prizes.
Within 6 weeks every week an article concerning cycling (plans, advantages, impacts etc.) was published. Additional to this the cyclists and their arguments pro-cycling have also been published in the newspaper. Normally only car traffic gets so much space in newspapers. What is especially positive is the fact that it was possible to combine factual information concerning cycling with emotional aspects.