As each day passes and the covid-19 pandemic worsens more and more examples are emerging of cities that are becoming more cyclists and pedestrian-friendly to help combat the virus.
It’s rapidly becoming apparent to many of those in authority around the world that cycling offers multiple benefits. These include much needed physical exercise and stress relief for those who are now in various degrees of isolation. It’s also a low risk way of getting to the shops for critical supplies whilst maintaining social distancing on the journey.
Here is a summary of some of the changes that have been happening:
- Some cities are changing the ‘press to beg’ buttons on pedestrian and cyclists crossings at traffic lights to automatically give a green light each cycle so that no-one has to press the button.
- New York City is one of many cities to introduce temporary cycling lanes to enable social distancing.
- Bogota, the capital city of Colombia, with a population of 7.4 million has installed 22km of new temporary bike lanes. Mexico City, Vancouver and Toronto amongst others are in the process of following suit.
- With so many people now working from home motoring rates have plummeted, particularly morning and evening rush hours. Streets have suddenly become quieter and more cycling friendly.
- Multiple articles including opinion pieces in major publications including Forbes have been pointing out the resilience of cycling in times of natural disasters and other crises.
- In multiple countries worldwide, bicycle shops have been declared essential service providers and allowed to stay open whilst other businesses have been closed.
- Health experts are pushing for the temporary implementation of lower speed limits for all traffic. Their reasoning is that this will reduce the number and severity of crashes, which in turn will reduce demands upon the hospital system at a time when it needs every bed, doctor and resource to fight the pandemic.
This website is running a summary spreadsheet of cities around the world and specific measures each is taking to make their city more cycling and or pedestrian friendly to enhance social distancing and safety. At the time of writing there were more than 100 cities on the list including Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney. You can see the details here.