City of Almaty 2012

Country: Kazakhstan, Activity: Think Bike Workshop

Experts of Dutch Cycling Embassy met with representatives of City of Almaty administration 21.05.2012 Experts of Dutch Cycling Embassy met with representatives of Akimat of Almaty and cycling movement activists in Almaty on May 17th, 2012 and discussed the possibility of including cycling demo-component within the “City of Almaty Sustainable Transport” UNDP supported GEF financed project. Mr. Jeroen Buis, traffic planer and civil engineer, and Mr. Peter Jonquiere, city planner and urban development consultant, made the general presentation on how Dutch cities had made the turnaround in not motorized transport (NMT) and urban transport planning to promote cycling and public transport. Despite the fact that there is one car for every two inhabitants in the Netherlands, 26% of all vehicular trips are made by bicycle. The Netherlands are one of the leading countries in the world in cycle-use. Within Amsterdam people more often use bicycle than car now. Whilecycle-useratewent up, accidentratefell; comparatively, 3200 people were killed in traffic in 1972 and 791 people were killed in 2007. The cycle-use rate wasn’t so high in the Netherlands in 1960-1970s. In 1970s country went through mass motorization that caused serious problems in small and densely populated Holland. Because of increasing car-use and car ownership, congestion grew up, cities faced parking problems, inaccessibility of cities caused economic loss, accident rate increased, the quality of life in cities deteriorated. Citizens, civil organizations and politicians became aware of these problems. New national transport policy was implemented to improve the situation and popularize public and not motorized transport. In Almaty Dutch experts presented the general success factors for the turnaround. AccordingtoJeroenBuis, it’s important to have a clear vision, set the objectives and specific target (e.g. max 20 % car-use in 2016). He told that plans and policies should be continuous and integrated. Promotion, education, legislation and enforcement are also vital parts of policy. Dutch experts listed main steps for popularization of NMT, which are following make car-free city-centers, provide restrictive car-parking policies, make NMT safer and plan and design quality for the bicycle. The participants of the meeting discussed the main obstacles for development of cycling in Almaty, which are climate conditions, mountains, lack of infrastructure and low culture of interaction between bicyclists and drivers. The Netherlands started to implement MNT-oriented policy in 1980s. Experts told that if Almaty administration began to change its transport policy, set objectives and targets, cycle-use would rise in city and people would enjoy all benefits of cycling as one of the most ecological, comfortable and healthy mode of transportation.

Summary

Experts of Dutch Cycling Embassy met with representatives of Akimat of Almaty and cycling movement activists in Almaty on May 17th, 2012 and discussed the possibility of including cycling demo-component within the “City of Almaty Sustainable Transport” UNDP supported GEF financed project.

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