Amazing Cities Vying to Become the Bicycle Capital of the World
Cycling is a great way to know more about a city and get a bit of exercise at the same time. Many cities around the world have stepped up in ensuring their cyclists are safe in the streets while meeting other problems such as excessive cars, heavy traffic and pollution.
With such initiatives, below are just some of the amazing cities that are vying to become the bicycle capital of the world:
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is always part of the top lists of bike-friendly cities around the world. With 40% of the city's traffic moving on two wheels, it is only rightful to have a top spot on this list.
The city has dedicated extensive and safe bicycle routes and networks, serious legislative promotions, and a bike culture that surpasses class boundaries.
Barcelona is another city that's taking bicycling seriously. Its Biking Program, one of Europe's mass bicycle rental systems that recently emerged, debuted in Catalonia in 2007. The city also has an annual Bike Week which is held in late May.
Basel is a beautiful city in Switzerland that's surrounded by agricultural areas teeming with grapevines and fruit-bearing trees. Bicycles for rent are available for touring the city and its surrounding areas safely, thanks to dedicated lanes, routes, traffic signals, and bike promotions via education and events.
Around 400,000 of commuters in Berlin pedal their way to their destinations each day. The local government is serious about bicycling and would like the numbers to soar up by allocating millions of Euros to encourage more people to bike on the streets. One of the results of their efforts is a mapping website which aids people in plotting bike-specific routes.
The capital of Denmark is another city that encourages its citizens to ride their bikes on a daily basis. Statistics show that more than a million kilometers is covered by cyclists every day.
Sandnes is one of two cities chosen by the government in 1990 to pilot a 4-year bicycle project with the aim of reducing car traffic. Fast forward to the present and the city has continued and maintained a bike-friendly system that's part of the city's transportation infrastructure.
Besides having a large bicycle culture, the city provides cyclists a subscription program to public bicycles and great parking areas.
The world's first bicycle lift called Trampe is one of the reasons why Trondheim became a popular tourist spot. The bicycle lift was invented to take avid cyclists uphill due to the city's topography.
Currently, 18% of Trondheim's population is using bicycles on a daily basis. The city also provides designated street lanes and public bicycles for rent or for subscription.
Bicycle travel in Boulder is well-supported by its local government. In fact, it has an allocation of 15% from its transportation budget for the improvement and promotion of bicycle travel within the city.
Virtually every major thoroughfare has a designated cycling area and they also have a program to get children cycling in school.
The city of Chicago didn't become one of the best cycling cities in the USA without the help of former mayor Richard Daley. This initiative later in his 22-year tenure made it possible for the city to pass laws to protect cyclists' safety and to create more bike lanes.
Davis is said to have more bikes than cars and the city's official motto is "most bicycle friendly town in the world". The city also has bike and pedestrian program to ensure safety and to help people get around town.
Ottawa claims to have the highest percentage of bicycle commuters in Canada. It has dedicated 170 km of pathways to cyclists to help them get around with ease. The city also provides useful information on transportation and cycling on the city's website.
Portland is believed to be the bike capital of the US because of its bicycle infrastructure which includes a 260-mile network and almost 10% of commuters using bikes as mode of transport.
San Francisco, California
Being the founding city of Critical Mass - a mass bike ride held every last Friday of the month in participating cities around the world - San Francisco's participation in promoting bicycling in the US and around the world cannot be overlooked.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town may come as a surprise for a city that's vying to become a bicycle capital of the world. The city is doing its best in promoting bicycling with the main purpose of changing the world for the better in terms of health, carbon emissions, access to education and mobility.
Perth deserves a place on our list of bicycle-friendly cities simply because it has more than 700 km of bike routes that come with stunning views. You can go to this website for more cycling resources in Perth.
These cities' individual bicycling initiatives are great examples for other cities around the world to follow. With strong support from local government and community involvement, it is not impossible for any city to become the bicycle capital of the world.
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