Monday, July 22, 2013

French Mobility Plan to Change Cycling Perception

A new French cycling mobility plan is expected to be published by the end of the year. It focuses on improving conditions for cyclists and promoting cycling through financial incentives. The French government has recently decided to highlight cycling in its mobility programs in line with innovative mobility plans across Europe. The project was initiated by the previous administration but put on hold when Francois Hollande commenced office. Now the French ministry for ecology, development and energy has decided to green light the project.Headed by Dominique Lebrun, a committee with industry representatives, cyclists and government officials has been formed. The key themes of the project are to promote new means of mobility while creating incentives for cycling to work. In order to encourage cycling, programs could be created where employers would provide a financial incentive to their employees for cycling to work. The plan follows a recently passed transport law in France which aims at creating secure areas in train stations for cyclists to store their bikes safely. This mobility plan looks very promising and could be a step in the right direction stimulate cycling in France. Read on in Bike Europe.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cycling has become mainstream

When in 2000 Velo Mondial decided to strive for cycling plans in 150 cities in 75 countries, we could never expect that today more than 500 cities in 49 countries host advanced bike-sharing programs, with a combined fleet of over 500,000 bicycles; less countries, but more cities. Bike-sharing cities are finding that promoting the bicycle as a transport option can lead to more mobility and safer streets for all. It certainly has come a long way since 1965, when 50 bicycles were painted white and scattered around Amsterdam for anyone to pick up and use free of charge.  Velo Mondial awarded it's inventor Luud Schimmelpenninck the 'Sustainable Mobility Pioneer Award in 2008 for it. Copenhagen's famed Bycyklen ("City Bike") program, which has been an inspiration to many cities, finally closed at the end of 2012 after operating for 17 years with more than 1,000 bicycles. It is set to be replaced by a modern system in 2013. Large-scale bike sharing's early shining star was the Vélib' in Paris. Vélib' was launched in 2007 with 10,000 bicycles at 750 stations, and it quickly doubled in size. Read more in Bike Europe.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cape Town goes Green

Following the successful trial of green painted cycle lanes in a section of Bree Street, the City of Cape Town has made a decision to demarcate all cycle lanes that are in roadways by painting them green. This colourisation helps to promote safety and awareness of other modes of transport such as vehicles and pedestrians. The outcomes of the trial period included the following: Vehicles generally refrained from parking on the green surface, thereby blocking the cycle lane (which had been a problem in the past);The surface is clearly defined and therefore can be enforceable should vehicles illegally park across the cycle lane;The green paint provides a skid resistance and durable surface for cyclists;The application is labour intensive therefore Expanded Public Works Programme workers can be employed when new cycle projects are implemented;Durability of the surface reduces regular maintenance requirements.  With the city-wide non-motorised transport (NMT) infrastructure programme being rolled out, more colourised cycle paths will be implemented. Read more here.