The city’s cycling plan has already reached almost half of the goal set for the end of this year, which is 400 km of bike paths. Action was internationally recognized by the Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP).
In the last week, the City Council has achieved almost half of the goal of implementing 400 kilometers of bike paths around the city until 2016. Currently, the city has 262.8 kilometers of exclusive cycle paths. Of this total, the current management inaugurated 199.8 kilometers since June 2014. Until then, São Paulo had 63 kilometers of bike path only. In an interview with Capital radio on Thursday morning (19), Mayor Fernando Haddad updated the target and said that the administration intends to reach the 500-kilometer mark by December.
“We are [now] 60 kilometers long and we will make another 430 [kilometers] by the end of the year.Why do we need the 500 kilometers? Because it is the minimum necessary to connect the neighborhoods and connect the neighborhoods with the train stations, subway and the bus terminals. Sometimes the person is four kilometers from work and can go by bike, but if she is 20 [kilometers ], She says: “I do not have the conditions to go on a bike, but I can get to the bike rack.” This is very common, which is why we are implementing the bike racks, the paracycles,”he said.
The last stretch of bike path was inaugurated last Friday (13), with 1.2 kilometers of exclusive bicycle paths on Avenida Atlântica, in the Socorro Chapel, in the south. The road connects with Guarapiranga Park and the Capela do Socorro cycle route, reaching Guarapiranga Avenue and Ponte do Socorro.
During the interview, Haddad also stressed that the adoption of cycling routes by citizens is somewhat gradual and defended the use of roads before the completion of the cycle network.”It’s not fitting for me to make the bicycle lane and leave it closed while the mesh is not ready. Then you release, even for people to get used to that new look that every modern city has,” he said.
According to the Urban Mobility Survey, made by Ibope at the request of Rede São São Paulo and published in September 2014, the number of people from São Paulo using the bicycle every day as a means of transportation grew 50% in relation to the previous year. While the 2013 survey estimated that about 174,100 city dwellers used the bicycle daily, by 2014 the number rose to approximately 261,000. The research also pointed out that the measures that would most encourage the use of the bicycle as an alternative to the car were precisely the creation of new cycle paths and the improvement of the cyclist’s safety.
Sustainable transport award
In January of this year, the city of São Paulo was elected one of the winners of the 10th edition of the Sustainable Transportation Award for the implementation of 150 kilometers of bicycle lanes and over 460 kilometers of exclusive bus lanes. The award is organized by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, an international committee of organizations and specialists in sustainable transport, including the World Bank.
Created in 2005, the award is awarded to cities that implement innovative and sustainable transportation projects. In addition to improving urban mobility, the transport project should reduce the greenhouse effect and emissions of air pollution, as well as improving safety and access for cyclists and pedestrians. The finalists are selected by an international committee of development experts and organizations working on sustainable transport.