Published: 09/30/2006 - Updated: 12/06/2016
Cycling in urban cycling as a means of transportation for short trips (about 5 miles or less) within the city or its environs. Thus, we can go to work by bicycle to shopping, cinema...
For a bike to be suitable for urban use, it must be robust, for example, allow onto a curb, and with large wheels and smooth, because there is no terrain to get muddy. In addition it must have a light for the cyclist, an antitheft system, mudguards, and so on.
In the not too distant future, we begin to suffer the impact of declining fossil fuel reserves. This reduction increases the price of oil, so it means thinking about alternative transportation such as bicycles in cities.
Use of bicycles as a means of transport in cities has many advantages:
- helps reduce air pollution and congestion
- maintains a certain level of physical activity to who practices it
- is convenient, cheap and environmentally responsible
- has also been found that in cities with heavy traffic, the bike on short journeys is faster than the car.
Fuel savings is huge, which brings both environmental benefits and economic, so in a few months will be amortized payment of a new bike.
Pollution in cities is not only fossil fuels that drive our cars, there are also other types of pollution, i.e. noise, generated by cars, traffic jams etc., and all this can be avoided with the use of bicycles.
For development of urban cycling is possible, it is necessary to establish a network of bike lanes in our city, or extend the existing network. We must also increase the number of bike parking both within the public highway and in parking lots and underground garages of the houses, and so on.
The main obstacle to the development of urban cycling is the lack of public awareness, coupled with the perception of risk that is associated with this means of transport. This is one of the things that should work.
Another problem is the abuse of bike lanes by some users: some cyclists go over the permitted speed of the risk, or do not respect pedestrians.
Seeing this, it is necessary to establish penalties to enforce the rules, bicycle and pedestrian awareness, etc. To this end, the Government developed an awareness campaign, information and education on the use of bicycles in the city. This campaign was launched in April 2006 and end in September of that year.
Urban development of cycling in the world is uneven, at Stockholm, 10% of urban trips are made with the bike and in some cities in the Netherlands the figure reaches nearly 50%, but in Spain there is a long way traveled to the widespread use of bicycles in cities.
In Spain, some towns are trying to promote cycling as a means of transport. For example, the government of San Sebastian power cycling to reduce the use of motorbikes and cars and, consequently, reduce pollution, the emission of greenhouse gases and consumption of renewable energies. In addition, part of its annual budget is intended to extend the network of cycle paths to the most distant from the center.
Another example is Burgos: here has been serving the public BICIBUR, a bike hire system that has four towers loan. To use this service, you must first register and you can rent the bike for two hours.
In Vitoria, there is also a bicycle hire, in which case the service is free loan. This service is increasingly demand.
However, Madrid is the counter to the two cities earlier in this town basically with no bike lanes.
In the case of abroad, in cities such as Copenhagen and Beijing, there are free bicycles for public use. Often simple and with an easily recognizable pattern to prevent theft. In some cities the use of bicycles is free and uses a system similar to a supermarket trolley: you enter a coin to get the bike parking, and when you return it, the currency is returned too. Another option is to subsidize the use of bicycles for which payment is symbolic to the people. With these systems, we promote the use of bicycles as a means of transport.
Another option to encourage bicycle use is to transport in public transport: for example, in the Madrid, you can only carry bicycles on weekends.
If we are interested in carrying the bike on the bus, the issue is more complicated, since it is still not regulated and depends on if the driver lets you take your bike or not.
For the development of urban cycling, it is not enough just to develop the network of cycle paths, it is also necessary to plan policies to promote cycling and cycling is a means of private transportation, which also has the same rights as cars and motorcycles.
Municipalities of Spanish cities should invest in the urban cycling, creating bicycle lanes on the streets and encouraging the use of bicycles. Using this mode of transport would reduce pollution considerably. It would be very desirable part of the collection of taxes on activities to encourage cycling as a means of transportation.