Modern cycling policy: an evolution towards bicycle-friendly cities
By Daan Vanslembroeck
Modern cities require modern mobility policy. A series of polluting cars zipping at the umpteenth tunnel, we prefer to avoid it. The alternative of the future runs on two wheels and is on the rise.
In recent years, there has been an increase in bicycle use.Louis Vanhove, Bizbike CEO: "It is only a logical consequence of people's awareness that the bicycle is still the simplest means of transport, especially for short journeys. In addition, in order to achieve a modern mobility policy, cities and towns have recently invested heavily in a better cycling infrastructure. We are really evolving towards bicycle-friendly cities and that is a positive evolution for mobility and the environment".
DON'T BE ASHAMED OF YOUR ELECTRIC BIKE
Vanhove states that the perception of e-bikes is also changing rapidly: "The generation of cyclists who bought e-bikes out of physical necessity is almost saturated. Now we notice that the fifty to sixty age group is also interested. And in a few years' time, even people in their thirties will get on. You should no longer be ashamed to ride an electric bicycle. It has become part of the streetscape".
Helena Vandenbulcke takes care of Bizbike's Public Relations and agrees: "I'm 24 years old myself and ride 60 kilometres to and from work every day. It's ideal to be outside and start the day's work with a fresh head".
"THERE IS A HUGE NEED FOR BICYCLE TECHNICIANS. BICYCLES HAVE BECOME MORE COMPLEX THAN AN OLD CITY BIKE".
Now that winter is approaching, it may once again be more difficult to get the bike out of the stable, but Vanhove sees plenty of opportunities: "Bicycle lanes have become a lot safer in recent years. They are better signposted, better lit and separated from the main road. I think that as cyclists, we are not happy if we get a litre of water on us from a bus passing by. Fortunately, those times have changed. In addition, users should also be aware that they can take care of their own safety: buy clearly visible clothing and a good helmet".
MORE WORK FOR THE BICYCLE TECHNICIAN
More bikes on the road also results in more maintenance. And that's where Bizbike experiences difficulty sometimes. "We have an enormous need of bicycle technicians", concludes Vandenbulcke. "Our bikes have become more complex than old city bikes. They have more electricity, mechanics and technology. Compare it to cars. They have also become more complex than twenty years ago, but now the car mechanic may have less work and the bicycle repairer may have just a little more".
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Fokus is an agency that publishes themed campaigns and provides a clear overview of various themes and sectors. This article was written for the most recent edition of Fokus Modern City in which challenges and solutions for the cities of tomorrow are highlighted together with experts.