Posts filed under 'Bicycle Infrastructure'

Cycling Gets a Big Boost in the EU

bike-cycle-path-signs-001Cycling as a form of general transport has just got a big boost in the European Union. The European Tourism and Transport Committee has voted to include cycling as part of the multi-billion Euro Trans-European Transport Network.

This means that cycling is now part of the general transport funding pool, potentially opening billions of Euro for the building of cycling infrastructure.

A result of intense lobbying from the European Cyclists Federation, the new Guidelines will go towards the building of bicycle lanes, bridges, and the planned EuroVelo routes as an integrated part of Europe’s transport solution, rather than an afterthought as is the case in many other parts of the world.

Parts of Europe already have very high cycling rates by the general population, with resulting lower rates of obesity, cardiac disease and greenhouse gas emissions. The new resolution will cement Europe’s place as leading the world in sustainable transport.

Add comment December 19th, 2012

Vancouver’s On-Road Bicycle System

I recently moved to Vancouver, the largest city in British Columbia, Canada, and spent 18 months there. At first, I was a bit disappointed by its lack of cycling infrastructure. I had come from Canberra, Australia, and was used to its extensive off-road bike path system, which there seemed to be no direct analog in the Pacific Northwest city.

But it dawned on me that Vancouver has its own bicycle network, with a hugely different philosophy to what I was used to. It was an on-road system, and a bit hidden if you didn’t know about it. Once discovered, however, I quickly realised what a great system it was.

The greater Vancouver area has a population of about 3 million people, and about the same number of cars. The city was largely built during the mid 20th century, when cars were the only answer to the transportation question. Driving from one end of Vancouver to the other can be an exercise in frustration, gridlock, endless red lights, narrow lanes and tired, intolerant drivers. Taking a bicycle on any of the main roads that go North-South or East-West would be a life-threatening experience.

So for my first few months in Vancouver, I didn’t ride long distances within the city. It was simply too dangerous.

Every now and then, I caught hints that there may be more to cycling in Vancouver. There were cyclist around, an occasional signpost, and finally a bike shop with a free cycle map.

What I discovered is an extensive, almost comprehensive on-road cycle system using a clever variety of techniques to make the cyclist’s journey safe.

Continue Reading Add comment April 3rd, 2010


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