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 International Journal of CivilJOURNAL and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308
 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, November – December (2013), © IAEME
                                 TECHNOLOGY (IJCIET)
ISSN 0976 – 6308 (Print)
ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online)
Volume 4, Issue 6, November – December, pp. 160-176
Journal Impact Factor (2013): 5.3277 (Calculated by GISI)                                                                ©IAEME

                   ENCOURAGE IT ‘MINIA CITY CASE’

                                         Hamdy Faheem, PhD
              Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering,
                                Minia University, Minia 61111, Egypt,


         With increasing congestion, air pollution, fuel price and the other side effects of motorization
 in Egypt, an attempt to know the possibility to reach to a higher level of cycling in Upper Egypt, and
 the required actions to encourage cycling in Upper Egypt has been performed. Minia city-Minia
 governorate was selected as a case study in this research. The reasons of low levels of bicycling in
 Upper Egypt has been investigated, for collecting data, a questionnaire through direct interviews
 with students (n=925) male and female has been performed. The study results show that there are
 barriers for bicycles use in Upper Egypt such as (infrastructures, safety, social norms and culture,
 and safe parking). 58% of males and 22 % of females that participated in the interviews will be
 potential users for cycling, if the cycling culture is introduced and there is available safe route and
 safe parking places for bicycle. They may use bicycles as a mode of transport for short distances
 mainly because of health, economic, and environmental considerations. According to the study
 results the requirements to encourage cycling could be obtained, the main requirements is that, the
 government should has policy for cycling, and some cultures and traditions has to change by
 promoting cycling through media.

 Keywords: Commuter cycling; Cycling; Public transport; Sustainable transport; Policies; Bike


        Non-motorized transport modes are often considered as vital elements of sustainable
 transport systems. Their emissions of pollutants and noise, and the accident risks they pose for other
 road users are very low. Thus, a high share of non-motorized transport modes would certainly
 contribute to a more attractive urban environment. Moreover, it is increasingly recognized that the
 use of non-motorized transport modes is an effective way for many people to cope with health

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, November – December (2013), © IAEME

problems and obesity. In transport research, considerable attention has been devoted to the question
of how to get people out of their cars (Hensher, 1998; Stradling, 2003). It is, however, difficult to
turn this aspiration into practice. A reduction in short trips by car is important for the future of cities
(Monzon et al., 2011) and could also bring benefits for health, the environment and quality of life
(Grabow et al., 2012; Mackett, 2003; Maibach et al., 2009). Attention is paid to the bicycle because
it can provide a genuine sustainable alternative to the car for many trip purposes.
        In large US cities bicycling accounts for 0.8% of commutes to work, compared to 10–37% in
large bike-friendly cities in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany (Pucher and Buehler, 2012). In
some parts of Europe, cycling accounts for a much higher modal share, up to 26% of all trips in the
Netherlands and 16% in Denmark (Ministry of Transport Public works and Water Management,
2009). The car has certain advantages over other modes in terms of speed, flexibility, safety and
personal space. But car travel can have negative aspects for the user, such as being a very stressful
experience (Novaco et al., 1990; Rasmussen et al., 2000), whilst cycling can be pleasant and exciting
(Gatersleben and Uzzell, 2007). Studies have shown that cycling can reduce the risk of
cardiovascular disease and premature mortality (Andersen et al., 2000; Bauman and Rissel, 2009)
and that the health benefits of a shift towards walking and cycling (sometimes known as active
travel) are likely to strongly outweigh the harms (de Hartog et al., 2010). For car users to change
their travel behavior, however, a desire for change, clear benefits and the availability of a viable
alternative are likely to be required (Stradling et al., 2000).
        Active travel is an approach to travel and transport that focuses on physical
activity (walking and cycling) as opposed to motorized and carbon-dependent means. More walking
and cycling, for all trip purposes – to work, education, shopping, social and leisure trips – can
generate important economic benefits through large public health gains in addition to reduced
pollution and congestion. Physical activity deficiency is one of the leading risk factors for ill-health
in the 53 Member States in the World Health Organization European Region, where nearly one
million deaths per year are estimated to be attributable to physical inactivity (WHO, 2009).
        For society and for the individual, cycling presents a number of interesting advantages over
other modes of transport. Individuals benefit from the fact that cycling is a healthy and cheap form of
transport. Moreover, in urban areas, cycling can sometimes prove to be faster than other transport
modes and also allows cyclists to avoid traffic jams (Olde Kalter, 2007). For society, meanwhile, the
advantages of cycling include environmental sustainability, cheap infrastructure requirements and
improvements in public health (Olde Kalter, 2007). Cycling also has a number of disadvantages,
however, including a greater physical effort, the difficulty of carrying loads while cycling, being at
the mercy of the weather, and, outside urban areas, travelling more slowly than motorized transport.
Factors such as physical effort and speed also limit the distance that a cyclist can travel.
        Utility cycling is defined as ‘a short to medium cycling trip often made in an urban
environment for commuting to work, going shopping and running errands, as well as heading out for
social activities’. Utility cycling has taken great steps in developed countries, especially Europe, the
United States of America, Australia and Japan.
        Due to the social gain to be realized from increasing the share of bicycle commuters and the
potential share of bicycle commuters, policy-makers in a number of countries, are showing
increasing interest in encouraging cycling, academic researchers are also becoming increasingly
interested in cycling.
        The need to encourage the public to engage in active travel is seen as important in terms of a
healthy and sustainable future community. Attitudes and behaviors of parents towards cycling and
active travel are important determinants to whether or not children cycle (Wen et al., 2008), and
cycling in childhood can influence cycling throughout life (Jones et al., 2012). However, there are
frequently documented barriers to cycling for people of all ages, including feeling unsafe and
vulnerable in heavy traffic, especially as a result of poor infrastructure and lack of segregated,

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, November – December (2013), © IAEME

dedicated or prioritized routes for cyclists (Nankervis, 1999). It is also noted that when good
infrastructure is put in place, it does not necessarily increase the amount of cycling (Welleman,
1997), perhaps because social norms are hard to overcome and concerns over safety dominate (TfL,
2009). The status of a non-motorized transport mode such as cycling seems to differ strongly
between countries, ranging from the poor man’s mode to the sports mode that suits an active
lifestyle. It is nevertheless striking that, despite the increasing policy and academic interest in
cycling, little attention has been paid to cycling when compared with other modes of transport. In
order to be able to develop sound policies that encourage cycling, it is essential that we understand
what determines bicycle use.
         The accessibility of the railway or bus stations, both at the home end and at the activity end
of trips travelers face the problem of how to get to the station. Special attention is paid to the role of
the bicycle as an access mode, since in many countries walking is an important access and egress
mode to these stations. The bicycle is a potentially attractive access mode for railways since it allows
travelers to avoid waiting at bus, metro or tram stops. Other advantages are that it is cheap,
environmentally friendly and that it requires only modest parking space near the railway station.
Most research into bicycle use identifies distance as a significant factor; indeed, for a great many
bicycle research studies, respondents are even selected according to the travel distance. Bike
commuters tend to live closer to their work than other types of commuters (Cervero, 1996). One
should note that, for cyclists, resistance to travel probably increases disproportionately with distance
due to the physical effort required (Van Wee et al., 2006). Moreover, there might be an ‘acceptable’
maximum travel distance that differs between individuals and also genders. Studies suggest that
women cycle shorter distances to work than men (Garrard et al., 2008), with Howard and Burns
(2001) suggesting 6.6 km for women compared to 11.6 km for men. This might be related to location
and activity choices that differ between the sexes.
         The importance of distance is further reflected in the relationship between town and city size
and the mode share. In the Netherlands, small- and medium-sized cities have the highest bicycle
share (Martens, 2004; Rietveld and Daniel, 2004), probably as a result of the proximity of the
destinations involved. Research has identified a relationship between distance and the chosen means
of transport. For distances between 0.5 and 3.5 km the bicycle is most often used (Keijer and
Rietveld, 2000; Martens, 2004). In Sweden five kilometers is often used as a feasible bicycling
distance in transport planning and one kilometer for walking (Wallberg et al., 2010). Iacono et al.,
(2008) stated that a maximum distance of 10 kilometers to the workplace was found to be a feasible
commuter cycling distance.
         Inexperienced cyclists, women and younger cyclists tend to consider bicycle facilities to be
more important (Stinson and Bhat, 2005; Garrard et al., 2008). Stinson and Bhat (2004), and Martens
(2007) all find that (commuting) cyclists consider safe bicycle parking to be important. Not all
cyclists attach the same value to parking facilities, however. Men, younger people and individuals
with more expensive bicycles consider secure parking facilities to be more important (Hunt and
Abraham, 2007). Hunt and Abraham (2007) suggest that for people with expensive bicycles and
younger people, this perception of importance is related to the relative value of their bikes.
         Stinson and Bhat (2004) and Gatersleben and Appleton (2007) find that darkness has a
negative effect on commuting by bicycle. In particular, women cyclists care more about the presence
of daylight than men (Bergström and Magnussen, 2003). Most research concludes that men cycle
more than women (Pucher et al., 1999; Howard and Burns, 2001; Rietveld and Daniel, 2004; Stinson
and Bhat, 2005). The relationship between cycling and age is also ambiguous. Pucher et al. (1999)
conclude that cycling levels decline with age.
         Cycling infrastructure is defined as ‘dedicated cycle tracks, demarcated cycle tracks, widened
footpaths for pedestrian/bicycle sharing and separate signalized bicycle crossings’. In fact, any
infrastructure that contributes to the cycling circulation area (e.g., a traffic calmed area or minor

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, November – December (2013), © IAEME

collector road) or facilitates cycling (bicycle parking lots), can be considered as cycling


         The benefits of cycling are numerous; benefits comprise health and environmental issues as
well as transport and the economic improvement of private and public households. Cycling has
positive effects on the heart, muscles, bones, blood pressure, digestion, lung function and the
reduction of cancer and diabetes risks (Friel, 1998). Cycling is an effective way of prevention, as it
reduces spending on health care and climate change mitigation or emission trading and is beneficial
to society (Sælensminde, 2003).
         One-tracked bicycles can weave through the traffic jam and park in any place. On distances
up to 8 km within urban settings (Dekoster and Schollaert, 2000 give an example for the European
context), bicycles easily compete with other means of transport, including cars, busses and trains.
Choosing bicycles instead of cars lowers the number of large motorized vehicles on the streets,
speeds up the traffic flow and consumes less land for roads or parking facilities. In addition, this
allows the design of human-centered public spaces, essential for safe urban life and social
interaction. As cycling does not oppress the mobility and quality of life of others, contrary to
motorized mobility, it is ultimately more democratic than other means of transport. Cyclists are not
vulnerable to rising oil or ticket prices and spend much less on the purchase and maintenance of a
bicycle than for motorized mobility. This enhances the socio-economic independence and mobility
of each cyclist. Ultimately, building, enlarging and maintaining infrastructure for cyclists only
requires a small percentage of what public funds spend on infrastructure for motorized traffic. In
short, it can be concluded that “cycling resonates with the themes of autonomy and self-sufficiency
and with environmental, social and economic sustainability, that are the hallmarks of alternative
development models”, as Horton et al. (2007) put it.
         Heinen et al. (2010) found in several studies that respondents frequently gave the following
reasons for bicycling: health reasons, exercise/fitness, fun, flexible, convenient and enjoyment of
attractive scenery.


        The literature in general shows that there are differences in the travel behavior of men and
women. Kim and Ulfarsson (2008) found that females have a higher proportion of short automobile
trips than males. Differences are also apparent with respect to active modes of transportation.
Gatersleben and Appleton (2007) find that cycling is more common among men than women. This
finding is corroborated by Stronegger et al. (2010), who find that men preferred cycling, while
women preferred walking, in a study that assessed gender-specific links between local infrastructure
and amount of walking and cycling for transportation. Stronger et al. (2010) also suggest that this is
perhaps due to women’s feelings of perceived safety and choosing to access amenities at shorter
distances from home due to household and family responsibilities. Likewise, Zhou (2012) finds that
males are more likely to walk or cycle relative to females, but finds no gender differences for any of
the other modes. Several studies show that women are more sensitive to cycling dangers than men
(Garrard et al., 2008; Geddes, 2009; Pucher et al., 2010a).
        From a social perspective, those who cycle perceive cycling more positively than those who
drive (Xing et al., 2010), which is consistent with previous investigations of the social aspects of
mode choice (Gatersleben and Appleton, 2007; Gatersleben and Uzzell, 2007). Although cycling
rates do not vary much by income, it seems likely that low income persons cycle mainly for work
trips and other utilitarian purposes, while high-income persons may cycle more for recreation and

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, November – December (2013), © IAEME

exercise (Heinen et al., 2010). Similarly, low rates of car ownership are also associated with higher
rates of cycling. Car ownership appears to have become a stronger determinant of cycling rates over
the past decade. That is consistent with other studies examining the impact of car ownership on
cycling levels (Pucher et al., 2011a; Stinson and Bhat, 2004; Rietveld and Daniel, 2004).
         Literatures that reveals why people commute or does not commute by bicycle show that there
are determinants for cycling include built environment (urban form, infrastructure, facilities at work),
natural environment (hilliness and landscape, seasons and climate, weather), socio-economic factors
(socio-economic and household characteristics), psychological factors: attitude, social norms, and
habits, (attitudes and social norms, perceived behavioral control, habits, reasons for (not) cycling),
cost, travel time, effort, and (safety, transportation costs, travel time and effort) Heinen et al. (2010) .
Previous research shows that climate and topography can affect cycling levels. Several studies find
that cycling is deterred by rain as well as by very cold or hot weather (Bergström and Magnusson,
2003; Dill and Carr, 2003; Gatersleben and Appleton, 2007; Heinen et al., 2010; Nankervis, 1999;
Stinson and Bhat, 2004; Winters et al., 2007). Almost all studies find that flat topography facilitates
cycling, and that cyclists choose routes that avoid steep gradients (Hunt and Abraham, 2007;
Rietveld and Daniel, 2004). Topography uninterrupted by harbors, bays, and rivers also favors
cycling by enabling more direct routes (Pucher et al., 2011b). There are no comparable statistics for
humidity, which raises the heat index and further discourages cycling during hot summers.
         One might expect a city such as Portland, which is both hilly and rainy, to have little cycling,
but in fact, it has the highest cycling rates in the USA, perhaps due to its comprehensive package of
cycling policies.
         Rastogi (2010) in his study determined the highest potential to shift to non-motorized mode
from age group of 23 to 45 which is the economically active segment of the population and also that
potential to shift decrease as occupational status increases. Arasan et al. (1994) identified the critical
trip length based on factors such as sex, age, occupation and purpose.
Each person’s decisions about bicycling are influenced by their spatial context, or the built
environment. Heinen et al. (2010) categorize the built environment into three categories: urban form,
infrastructure, and facilities at work. Two metrics of urban form are density and accessibility. Heinen
et al. (2010) found that many studies suggest that trip distance is a large determinant in one’s
decision whether or not to travel by bicycle. The longer the trip, the fewer individuals who are
willing to travel by bicycle.
         Heinen et al. also found that bicycling rates are impacted by seasons (e.g., winter, summer).
Stinson and Bhat (2004) and Guo et al. (2007) (as cited by in Heinen et al., 2010) reported that “in
the USA, cycling in the summer is more common than in other seasons.” This confirms what would
seem logical. Other than weather conditions generally being colder, rainier, and sometimes snowy
during non-summer seasons, they also found that the hours of daylight played a significant role:
darkness has a negative effect on commuting trips by bicycle. That being said, it has also been found
that Canadians, in general, have higher bicycling rates that the U.S., yet they have a colder climate
and shorter days during non-summer months. However, in a Canadian study, Winters et al. (2007)
found that cities with more days of precipitation per year and more days of freezing temperatures per
year were both associated with lower levels of utilitarian cycling. These finding suggest that weather
(and possibly daylight) is in fact a significant factor affecting bicycling rates but that it isn’t a
dominating factor.


     a. To investigate the policies of some countries that have been especially innovative and successful
        at increasing cycling, that may provide valuable lessons for policy maker in other cities seeking
        to promote cycling.

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, November – December (2013), © IAEME

     b. To investigate the reasons of low level of cycling in Upper Egypt.
     c. To predict the future and the possibility of higher level of cycling in Upper Egypt.
     d. To suggest the required actions to encourage cycling.


        Cities with successful bicycling policies can be found in many countries, providing
experience about the most appropriate package of policies for local conditions is necessary. The high
rates of bicycling in the Netherlands are the result of strong beliefs in the bicycle as a form of
sustainable transport and in purposeful long-term transportation planning. Traffic planners and
politicians have made a clear and rational decision to promote bicycles and discourage use of motor
vehicles. Master Plan Bicycle was established within the Dutch Ministry of Transport in1990,
specifically with this aim (Welleman 1995).
        For many years, Europeans and Americans have looked to the Netherlands for ideas on
transportation planning and policy (Suzuki 1984), and “Master plan Bicycle,” shows why this tiny
nation attracts such attention. This was the first time any country had established “an official national
bicycle policy” (Federal Highway Administration 1992b). Remarkably, from an American
standpoint, the policy was aimed at increasing bicycling and mass transit use and decreasing motor
vehicle use. Along with building more bicycle paths and parking facilities, a major goal was to
improve bicycle/public transport connections (Federal Highway Administration 1992b).
        Virtually all the available evidence indicates that policies make an important difference: not
only explicitly pro-bicycle policies but also transport policies in general, housing and land use
policies, and car pricing and restraint policies. Designing the appropriate mix of policies for each
city's particular situation requires careful planning and ongoing citizen input, especially from
bicyclists. Emphasizing the proven health benefits of bicycling will be the key to garnering the
public and political support necessary to implement a truly comprehensive package of policies. That
multifaceted, coordinated approach offers the promise of substantial growth in bicycling, even in
cities with low bicycling levels.
        In short, bicycling has been thriving precisely in those countries that have adopted policies to
make bicycling faster, safer, and more convenient. Bicycle use has been falling in those countries
that have been neglecting the needs of bicyclists. With the right set of policies, bicycling can be
greatly increased almost anywhere (Pucher, 1997). Importing the suitable policies to our community
and adopting appropriate package of policies for local conditions will be helpful to the policy
makers. A wide variety of infrastructure, programs, and policies to promote cycling are as follows:

5.1.    Expansion and improvement of bikeway networks
        In both Europe and North America, the main approach to increasing cycling and making it
safer has been the provision of more and better bike paths and lanes (Heinen et al., 2010; Pucher et
al., 2010a, b). The scientific evidence in the existing literature generally supports that strategy.
Results from aggregate cross-sectional studies indicate that there is a positive correlation between
cycling levels and the supply of bike paths and lanes, even after controlling for other explanatory
factors such as city size, climate, topography, automobile ownership, income, and student population
(Dill and Carr, 2003; Rietveld and Daniel, 2004). Disaggregate, individual-level studies report a
strong preference for separate paths and lanes over cycling in traffic (Broach et al., 2011; Dill, 2009;
Howard and Burns, 2001; Hunt and Abraham, 2007). Both stated-preference surveys and revealed-
preference surveys find that women, seniors, and inexperienced cyclists, in particular, prefer riding
on bicycle paths and lanes over cycling on streets without facilities (Garrard et al., 2008; Larson and
El-Geneidy, 2010). Thus, there is considerable scientific evidence that improving cycling facilities is
essential for increasing cycling.

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, November – December (2013), © IAEME

5.2.    Bike parking
        There is a general consensus on the need to provide good bike parking for cyclists
(AASHTO, 1999; APBP, 2010). There are few rigorous studies of the impacts of bike parking on
cycling levels, but they confirm the importance of bike parking for cyclists, with a strong preference
for secure, sheltered parking to prevent theft and protect bicycles from inclement weather (Hunt and
Abraham, 2007).

5.3.    Integration with public transport
        Coordinating cycling with public transport is mutually beneficial, enhancing the benefits of
both modes and encouraging more cycling as well as more public transport use (Brons et al., 2009;
Martens, 2004, 2007). Cycling supports public transport by extending the catchment area of rail
stations and bus stops far beyond walking range and at much lower cost than neighborhood feeder
buses and park and ride facilities for cars. Access to public transport helps cyclists make longer trips
than possible by bike. Public transport services can also provide convenient alternatives when
cyclists encounter bad weather, difficult topography, gaps in the bikeway network, and mechanical

5.4.   Bike Sharing Programs
       Following the boom in bike sharing programs worldwide, some cities now have bike sharing
systems. There are rapid expansions of bike sharing in North America that may provide further
impetus to the growth of cycling (Shaheen et al., 2010). The available evidence indicates that bike
sharing programs in Europe have encouraged more cycling as well as improved coordination of
cycling with public transport (Shaheen et al., 2010; Pucher et al., 2010a).

5.5.   Training and Education
       Some cities have some sort of bike training programs for children as well as adults, there is
comprehensive bike training and traffic education programs in most German, Dutch, and Danish
schools (Pucher and Buehler, 2008). Unlike northern Europe, cycling training programs in North
America are offered in only a small percentage of schools, thus reaching a limited number of

5.6.    Information and Promotional Programs
        Distribute free printed bike maps as well as interactive, on-line versions that permit trip
planning, allowing cyclists to choose routes with the shortest distance, least traffic, least pollution,
most vegetation, fewest hills, or most separation from motor vehicle traffic (Su et al., 2010; UBC,
2010), offering a wide range of information on cycling routes, parking, safety, training, special
events, recent and proposed projects (City of Portland, 2010a; NYCDOT, 2011).


6.1.    Interviews Results
        In each country, work and education are the dominant motives, irrespective of public
transport type, These high shares can be attributed to the high trip frequency of commuters and
students both groups tend to make the same trip every weekday, and may thus be expected to search
for the most economic way to cover the distance between home address and public transport stop.
Khattak et al. (2011) argue that ‘‘exploration of students’ behavior can be instructive and reveal
valuable information about associations with the built environment and the extent of differences in
travel compared with the general population.’’ Second, a key aspect of studying university
populations is that modal choices among university/college students often display a higher share of

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, November – December (2013), © IAEME

alternative modes compared to the general population, and thus all modes are well-represented in the
analysis. It is possible that a better understanding of the travel behavior of students, who tend to use
alternative commuting modes more frequently, can generate valuable information about factors that
may help to sustain the habit of active transportation. Several studies show that college students are
among the most likely to cycle, so that cities with high shares of students tend to have higher bike
mode shares (Dill and Carr, 2003; Heinen et al., 2010). Accordingly the questionnaire through direct
interviews with students male and female has been performed (students from different stages). A
total of 925 students were surveyed during 2013.
The results of the survey can be summarized as follows:
  1. 62% of the interviewees have positive memories of cycling from childhood.
  2. Social norms prevent female from riding bicycle in public areas.
  3. About 59% of the interviewees consider cycling to be used for poor people (feeling of poverty).
  4. The main reasons given for not cycling in Minia city were: high chance of bike theft, danger, no
     bike lane, no safe parking, low-acceptability of cycling as a transport mode because of social
     norms and culture.
  5. About likelihood of cycling in the future if there will be suitable environment for cycling such
     as safe parking, bicycle lane, culture change, etc. 58% of males and 22% of females may be use
     bicycle, 23% of males and 17% of females not likely to use bicycle, and 19% of males and 61%
     of females will never use bicycle as a mode of transport.
  6. About the opinion of the interviewees of how to encourage cycling, they suggest that: 1) by
     seeing famous and high status people riding bicycles as a model in media 2) construction of
     bicycle lane 3) safe parking areas 4) and the change of culture that prevent female from cycling
     and considers cyclist as a poor peoples.

6.2.    Overview Location and Setting
        Minia city is the capital of Minia Governorate in Upper Egypt; the governorate is one of the
most highly populated governorates of Upper Egypt. It contains nine cities. It is located
approximately 245 km south of Cairo on the western bank of the Nile River, Minia Governorate has
longitudinal distribution, its length is about 135 km from north to south and its average widths is
about 18 km from east to west. Its area is about 32279 km2.
        The population of Minia governorate is 4762000 according to Census in 2012. 2431000 of
them are male and 2331000 are female (CAPMAS, 2012). Minia population constitutes 5.8% from
the total population of Egypt, population estimates by age group in 2012 showed that 42.8% from the
total population of Egypt is in the age range of 15-40 years. Minia city is mostly flat, The road
network, is very diverse, depending on different parts of the city, as well as some popular
neighborhoods have mainly narrow, non paved streets without sidewalks.
        The general condition of the road network including lightning, pavement, lanes, sidewalks
etc. ranges from good in some areas to very deficient in areas where informal housing is predominant
and public investments in infrastructure are rare. Especially for short distance trips within
neighborhoods, bicycling is used in Upper Egypt at low levels. The risk that cyclists faced are most
probably crashes in frequent potholes and other deficiencies in the road pavement, particularly in the
darkness. Streets are mostly one-way. In many cases, sidewalks are used for commercial purpose and
some of them are reduced to a minimum (of 50 cm and less) or even inexistent. Lightning is
provided inside the city.
The location of a public transport stop or station can have a substantial influence on the level of
cycling. For Minia city all public transport from/ to Minia city such as train station bus terminals and
shared taxi terminals located at the center of the city and the maximum distance from the city center
to anywhere in the city less than 5 km. Figure 1 shows the urban distribution of Minia city.

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, November – December (2013), © IAEME

                                 Figure 1: Minia City Urban Distribution

6.3.    Climatic of Minia Governorate
        Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies Minia Governorate climate as hot
desert. The climate is characterized by hot summers and cold winters. Temperatures can reach from
26 to 40 degrees from June to August, and from 4 to 17 degrees from December to March. The
average humidity levels is about 52 %, there are very few rainy days with at maximum 2 mm
average precipitation. Luxor, Minia, Sohag, Qena and Asyut have the widest difference of
temperatures between days and nights of any city in Egypt, with almost 16 °C difference. The city of
Minia is located tightly between two ranges of about 500 m-mountains on both western and eastern
sides, and interestingly falls away from the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Hence, these
conditions give the city, nearby towns and villages similar properties of continental climate. Meaning
that, the city has cold winter weather, and hot but non-humid summers. Hail or snow is extremely
rare due to Minia's low precipitation averages, frost will occasionally form on cold winter nights.
The average annual rainfall in Minia is 0.52 mm, M. A. Zahran (2009). There is evidence that cold
weather decreases the probability of selecting non-motorized modes (Kuhnimhof et al., 2010),
however, the coldness in Upper Egypt is not severe to that degree. In terms of relevance for cycling,
the city has nearly flat terrain, dry and hot weather during daytime that prove to be favorable for
cycling most of the year. The climate data for Minia governorate is shown in Table 1.

                                        Table 1 Climate data for Minia
       Month       Jan    Feb    Mar      Apr    May     Jun     Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec    Year
Average high °C    20.4   22.4   25.8     31.2   35.4    36.9    36.6   35.9   34     31.3   25.9   21.4   29.77
 Daily mean °C     11.7   13.5   16.8     21.9   26.2    28.4    28.7   28     26.1   23     17.7   13     21.25
Average low °C     3.9    5.2    8.2      12.6   16.4    19.3    20.4   20.3   18.4   15.5   10.2   5.8    13.02
Precipitation mm   0.0    0.0    1.0      0.0    0.0      0.0    0.0    0.0    0.0    2.0    1.0    1.0    0.42
  % humidity       63.0   56.0   52.0     43.0   37.0     40.0   46.0   51.0   53.0   55.0   61.0   67.0    52.0
Source (Minia, Egypt: Climate, 2013)

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6.4.      Social, cultural and gender norms
         While cycling is a common necessity for a considerable part of the Egyptian society and the
negative effects of motorized mobility are one of the most important conversation topics in Egypt,
there is little or no conscience about the bicycle as a full-fledged mobility alternative. One of the
reasons is the common, outspoken belief that cycling is for the poor. This depreciative belief seems
to apply at any time, no matter whether a cyclist rides a cheap or expensive bicycle. The car is a main
status symbol and as social control is high, a considerable number of Egyptians – especially
academics and students – seem to approve of bicycle traffic in theory but would not dare to switch to
it, partly because of social stigma. While the general social stigma of choosing a bicycle seems to
apply to both men and women, women are also confronted with conflicting gender norms. As
projects in the field of sports and gender empowerment show, there are several factors that prevent
women from doing sports including cycling: In general, girls are allowed less to play, second the
female body being exposed by moving in public is often considered inappropriate, and third sexual
harassment on the streets. In fact, many Egyptians – male and female – are members of private sports
clubs in Cairo and Alexandria, but sports is generally banned from public space, which makes race
cyclists and mountain bikers still a rare and strange view to many.
         In theory, there is no discrimination against gender in cycling. Though, surveys show that in
reality, no cyclists from female in Upper Egypt, only you can see some females’ cyclists in their
early ages (childhood). On the streets, cyclists are often disrespected by the drivers of motorized
vehicles, as it also occurs with pedestrians. Cyclists suffer from stigmas such as being poor or
inferior. The cultural norm as a whole favors motorized vehicles. There is no infrastructure has been
realized so far for bicycling. Despite tremendous environmental, social and infrastructure costs,
individual motorized mobility continues to receive high government consideration and spending.

6.5.    Urban Planning and Cycling Policies
        There is definitely cycling practice, but nothing such as a cycling policy in Egypt, and so far
the non-motorized transport is still absent from the official discourse about mobility patterns. The
traditional traffic policy stays nearly unchanged: more highways for more cars (Serrano, 2009). In
recent years, suggestions and initiatives concerning cycling policy and practice by members of the
civil society, researchers, journalists and NGOs have appeared in Cairo.

6.6.    Mobility and Cycling Practice
        In the same way as the bicycle is absent from transport policies, there is no statistical data
about the effective number of trips it is used for in Minia. Statistics show mainly that motorized
traffic has been rise since several decades now. The number of privately owned cars in Egypt has
reached about 3.23 million in 2012, an upward trend. Generally, in Egypt people who cannot afford a
car will use other forms of motorized transportation: taxis, private or public buses or private
        In upper Egypt there is no statistical data about walking, however it is common practice as a
reason of the economic nature: A private or public buses or private microbuses or taxi ride currently
costs L.E.0.50 to L.E.5.0 ($0.075 to $0.75), which adds up for the poor. Although never taken into
account in transport statistics or policies, the bicycle proves its efficiency on a daily basis. The
bicycle is a popular and generally well accepted toy for children, especially for boys; in general, in
accordance to social norms, cycling as a leisure activity is limited to childhood and early youth.
Egyptian government as well as Minia Governorate doesn't introduce a short or long-term strategy to
encourage people to use more sustainable modes of transport (WHO, 2013).

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6.7.    Factors favorable for non-motorized development in Upper Egypt
        There are necessity of developing a non-motorized culture in urban environment in Upper
Egypt, some factors which are favorable for such a development are as follows: The two major
factors which can be attributed in favor of non-motorized development are the high percentage of
low income and middle income groups, and the high percentage of short trips existing in Upper
Egypt cities. The World Bank Official Website had classified Egypt a lower middle income economy
which points to the presence of high percentage of middle income groups. Another factor favorable
for non-motorized traffic development is the number of short distant trips made in urban cities. As
indicated by Rastogi (2009) in his work, European cases show that bicycle is far more superior
below 5 km. The city has nearly flat terrain, dry and hot weather during daytime that prove to be
favorable for cycling most of the year

6.8.     Problems hindering cycling in Upper Egypt and factors affecting it
         Laxman et al. (2010) had mentioned that in Indian cities pedestrians are forced to walk along
the carriageway along with the vehicular traffic even when foot paths are provided because of the
encroachment by hawkers, vendors and shoppers which increase the chance of conflict between
pedestrians and motor vehicles, and that is similar to what happen in Egypt. There is a lack of proper
foot paths and cycle tracks which often compels the commuter to use the road along with the
motorized vehicles.
         Heinen et al. (2010) found in several studies that respondents frequently gave the following
reasons for not bicycling: too dangerous, too much traffic, bad weather, personal factors, lack of
daylight, inconvenience, lacking sufficient fitness, uncomfortable, lack of time, being too tired, too
much effort, the bicycle being an uncharacteristic transportation mode, and difficulties with trip-
chaining (Gatersleben and Uzzell, 2007 as cited by in Heinen et al. 2010).
         So it is worth assuming that in Upper Egypt due to the poor infrastructure provided a lot of
potential non-motorized commuters are forced to resort to other modes which are generally
perceived safe. Hence the advantage of providing infrastructure is twofold 1) to reduce the fatality
rate 2) to improve the safety perception of commuter to promote their shift to non-motorized modes.
         The second problem which reduce the usage of non-motorized modes especially the bicycle
is the general socio-cultural stigma that these modes are for poor people. The study done by Rastogi
(2010) found that shift to walking and bicycling from high income groups are negligible compared
with the low income group. In countries like Netherlands it can be observed that cycle is integrated
as part of culture and not as poor man’s vehicle. There is need for changing the mindset of people in
Egypt and this could only be done through awareness programs emphasizing on importance of
walking and bicycling as sustainable and environment friendly modes.


        Literature shows that, some individual interventions can increase bicycling to varying
degrees, but the increases are not usually large. That does not mean that individual interventions are
not important, however, they are most effective as a part of a more comprehensive effort (policies).
Substantial increases in bicycling require an integrated package of policies. Those policies may
include infrastructures provision and pro-bicycle programs, as well as supportive land use planning
and restrictions on car use.
        Non-motorized modes are neglected presently in the planning process and there are no
polices for cycling in Egypt. One of the reasons for this neglecting is the lack of acceptability of non-
motorized mode among policy makers as a main mode. The main factor which makes the policy
makers ignore bicycling is the lack of understanding of its benefits. Policy makers considers
motorized mode provide revenue to the government through taxes while non-motorized modes not.

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308
(Print), ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online) Volume 4, Issue 6, November – December (2013), © IAEME

In order to change this attitude a complete understanding regarding the economic and other benefits
of non-motorized traffic is necessary.
       Riding the bicycle has considerable benefits for both, the cyclists and the community, but it’s
everyday usage and future potentials can only be assessed and understood within the local context.
Thus, the pre-requisites for cycling comprise not only favorable infrastructures or climatic
conditions, but also - for instance - safe streets and respectful behavior in public spaces in general.
Taking these factors besides cycling policies into consideration, a higher rate of cycling in the future
would be obtained. Generally, if the government has desire for non-motorized modes of transport in
Egypt, it should first improve/change certain basic factors which hindering people from using it,
through the construction of suitable infrastructure for cycling and pedestrians and the promotion for
non-motorized modes in media.


         A clear message emerges from the literature in this research is: Substantial increases in
bicycling require an integrated package of policies. Those policies may include infrastructures
provision and pro-bicycle programs, as well as supportive land use planning and restrictions on car
use. There are many policies for encouraging cycling found in literature, it is necessary to use the
suitable policies to our community and to local conditions.
         In a country like Egypt a general increase of public transport fares may easily have good
effect on the environment because in addition to its reduction in travel-generating, its main effect is
an increase in the use of non-motorized transport modes.
         Minia city has flat topography and hot-dry weather in summer and cold but not snowy
weather in winter, which gives it advantages compared with other countries with high cycling ratios.
That means with applying some policies and promotions for cycling, people may adopt bicycle as
means of transport, which will increase level of cycling.
         The main reasons given for not cycling in Minia city were: high chance of bike theft, danger,
no bike lane, no safe parking, low-acceptability of cycling as a transport mode because of social
norms and culture. The likelihood of cycling in the future if there will be suitable environment for
cycling such as safe parking, bicycle lane, culture change, etc. 58% of males and 22% of females
may be use bicycle, 21% of males and 23% of females not likely to use bicycle, and 15% of males
and 55% of females will never use bicycle as a mode of transport.
         About the opinion of the interviewees of how to encourage cycling, they suggest that: 1) by
seeing famous and high status people riding bicycles as a model in media 2) construction of bicycle
lane 3) safe parking 4) and the change of culture that prevent female from cycling and considers
cyclists as a poor peoples.
         There is high-potential for non-motorized transport in Upper Egypt. Therefore, there is an
urgent requirement for policy makers to include non-motorized transport in their agenda.
Researchers also need to contribute to confront the issues in developing and planning non-motorized
traffic considering all aspect affecting cycling. They need to clearly define the role of non-motorized
modes and have to envisage ways in which these roles could be implemented.


The author thanks Eng. Mostafa Asry and Tony for assistance in data collection

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