Cycling in Bucharest

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Cycling in Bucharest is less popular than in other European cities, in part due to the lack of cycling infrastructure and because of the low taxes for owning and driving a car. Nevertheless, cycling became increasingly common during the 2010s and thousands of cyclists participate in Critical Mass events, protesting against the Municipality of Bucharest's opposition to building segregated cycle facilities.

The largest biking event is "Prima Evadare" ("The first escape").[1]

Cycling paths[edit]

The earliest segregated cycling paths were built in the 1970s in the Colentina district, along a 3-km stretch of Șoseaua Colentina between Obor and Colentina River. They were replaced in 2007 with parking spaces.[2]

Between 2008-2010, the Bucharest City Hall built 122 km of cycling paths on the sidewalks of the city (mixing bicycle and pedestrian traffic), at a cost of 12 million €.[3] They were closed down by the traffic police in 2012 as they were found to be illegal according to the traffic code.[3]

Mayor of Bucharest Sorin Oprescu announced in March 2013 that he refuses to allow segregated cycling paths to be built on the roads, as he claims that the Romanian drivers are uncivilized and that he "doesn't want to count the dead people" due to traffic accidents.[4] Oprescu also claimed that most cyclists don't even want any such cycling paths.[4]

As a reaction to Oprescu's claim of cyclists not wanting segregated cycling paths, the Cyclist Community of Bucharest organized a protest under the slogan "we want [dedicated] paths on the road" on March 23, 2013 in which up to 3000 cyclists participated.[5] An even larger protest was organized on September 21, 2013, when more than 5000 cyclists participated.[6]

The result is a segregated cycling path in the central Calea Victoriei avenue.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The event is organised by NoMad Multisport in spring (May) "[http://www.primaevadare.ro Prima Evadare]". Prima Evadare. Retrieved 14 October 2015. External link in |title= (help)
  2. ^ Dan Arsenie (October 31, 2010). "Piste de biciclete ca în Vest, în România comunistă". Evenimentul Zilei. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Catiusa Ivanov (March 7, 2013). "Ce se intampla cu pistele pentru biciclete din Bucuresti?". hotnews.ro. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Antoaneta Etves (March 11, 2013). "Oprescu nu mai face piste de biciclete pe carosabil. Motivul: Șoferii nu sunt civilizați". Evenimentul Zilei. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  5. ^ Vlad Andriescu (March 23, 2013). "3.000 de biciclişti pe străzile din Bucureşti. "Vrem piste pe carosabil!"". Adevărul. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  6. ^ "Mars de amploare al biciclistilor in Capitala: Cei peste 5.000 de participanti au blocat traficul pe traseu". Hotnews. September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 22, 2013.