Riding smooth: A cost-benefit assessment of surface quality on Copenhagen's bicycle network

Dimitrios Argyros*, Anders Fjendbo Jensen, Jeppe Rich, Sagi Dalyot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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A growing body of research acknowledges the substantial societal benefits of improved bicycle infrastructure, with recent studies highlighting the significant impact of road surface quality on comfort, safety, and accessibility of cycling. In this paper, we present a cost-benefit assessment of improved surface quality for the City of Copenhagen. The study focuses solely on improved accessibility through higher travel speed, where two large-scale crowdsourced bicycle trajectory datasets from Copenhagen are used, along with link-specific data for the network. It is found that travel time savings that result from investments in better surface, render a benefit-cost ratio of 2 to 4 and correspond to an absolute yearly recurrent welfare gain of around 20 mill. DKK for Copenhagen. Hence, from a societal welfare perspective, careful monitoring and maintenance of surface quality is indeed a good investment. It is also demonstrated that such monitoring can be achieved in a cost-effective manner by equipping cyclists who travel in a specific area with affordable accelerometer sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105473
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Bicycle infrastructure
  • Cycling speed
  • Micromobility
  • Road surface quality
  • Trajectory crowdsourced data


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