Bike trips amount to 5.1% of all trips in Croatia, as reported in the National Traffic Model. National Census contains information on means of transport to work or to school. In the last 2011 Census, 4.5% of the employed persons and 3% pupils/students said they cycle to work/school.
In Croatia, there is very limited cycling infrastructure for safe cycling in comparison with central European countries due to lack of cycling paths and tracks, inadequate signage, as well as due to non-connectivity and poor maintenance of the existing routes. Cycling is more utilised in the continental part of Croatia, while in southern parts morphology poses important limitations to cycling, with only 1.9% of total trips being undertaken by bicycles. The total length of cycle tracks is nevertheless continuously growing, both in urban and in rural areas. Tracks in urban areas are used primarily by residents, whereas tracks in rural areas are used dominantly by tourists.
According to the actual tourist demand and trends in Croatia, cyclotourism represents a tourist product with one of the highest growth rates in the near future.
Local authorities are responsible for developing new infrastructure at their respective territories, cycling infrastructure being no exception. For that reason, new developments are highly dependable on local authorities’ internal capacities, both in the area of spatial planning and in the area of fundraising, primarily in the ESI area. The development of cycling infrastructure is highly relying on European Structural and Investment funds. An important obstacle to increased cycling use is a lack of interlinkages between various transport options and cycling possibilities where local authorities will also play a key role.
Finally, the obstacle that will take the most time to solve is connected to road and traffic safety, depending on observing the regulation by all participants as well as efficient surveillance and law enforcement – both areas where improvements are necessary.
Until now, six Croatian cities are involved in EU activities to promote and apply the concept of a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP), but only two have developed plans that are available online – Koprivnica and Novigrad. Both existing plans put emphasis on cycling, from promotion through spatial planning to infrastructure development.