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São Paulo is becoming bike-friendly

Just a few days after its opening, cyclists crossing São Paulo’s cycle road have increased by 400%. The city will extend its cycle routes to 400 km by 2016.

São Paulo is turning into a bike-friend city. On 28 June, a new cycle route was opened in Paulista Avenue, São Paulo main road and one of the most famous roads of Brazil, which is also renowned internationally. During the opening of the cycle route, car traffic was closed and the whole lane was reserved to pedestrians and cyclists. Thousands of people attended the opening celebrations. Indeed, São Paulo has never had a bike-friendly approach until recently.

 

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The cycle route mostly exploits the median strip of Paulista Avenue lane. This section is still under construction and there are some on-going road works. In few days, cyclists riding across São Paulo cycle route increased by almost 400%.

 

A local cycling association will install a device to register the register every month the increase of people riding across the cycle route. The excellent results and the success of the opening day of the cycle route have driven the local administration to consider closing Paulista Avenue to car traffic on Sundays. The goal is to extend São Paulo cycle routes network to 400 km within 2016 (here is a map of the current cycle paths).

 

After several years of fights, São Paulo’s commitment to a better cycle mobility, led the city to be awarded by the Institute of Transportation Development Policy.

 

In 2002 the association “Bicicletada” was established and it supported the organisation of several bike rides to ask for a better cycle mobility. After some cyclists died (their names are marked on the route through the notorious “Ghost Bikes”) and a boy got one arm amputated, there was a huge demonstration with a bike ride in Paulista Avenue on March 2015, to ask for the building of a cycle route.

 

Today, cycling activists are reaping the benefits of their initiatives. Let’s hope that the enthusiastic welcome to the new cycle route will reduce car traffic in the next years, in favour of cycle mobility.

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