In Brussels, the average drivers spends more than 50 hours a year in road traffic jams.
‘Walking and cycling can become the core of the necessary transition from a primarily car‑based mobility option in cities to mobility‑based on non‑motorised and public transport.’ That is the concluation of a new report from the European Environment Agency which points to rapid transformations in urban transport in some areas. While cycling and efficient public transport are becoming the norm in some urban areas, Europe’s transport sector is still a major contributor to excessive levels of greenhouse gases, air pollution and noise. ‘Taking the decision to invest in safe bicycle infrastructure or traffic calming zones in a city with a low bicycle use,’ the report continues, ‘is often the most difficult but the best decision in the whole process of improving the bicycle policy.’
The report says that the most effective measures for encouraging cycling are not so much promotional activities but rather:
• extensive systems of separate, well maintained and fully integrated cycling facilities
• intersection modifications and priority traffic signals for cyclists;
• traffic calming (30 km/h speed limits in residential areas, physical deterrents for cars);
• large supply of good bike parking throughout the city;
• coordination with public transport (extensive bike parking at all public transport hubs);
• strict enforcement of cyclist rights by police and courts.
* assuming the average driver drives to work for 40 years of her life, EUCG’s resident mathematician makes that 2000 hours of her life staring at the rear of the car in front.