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CYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE, an integral vision

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On September 21st, cycling expert Stefan Bendiks from Artgineering presented his vision of an integrated cycle infrastructure at the Madrid Urban Cycling Conference, as part of La Celeste, the European Mobility Week.

The mayor Manuela Carmena herself and the Dutch Ambassador in Madrid Matthijs van Bonzel, who also supported the venue financially, introduced the lectures and workshops. Janneke van Klei from the Fietsersbond presented the Dutch approach on cycling education and Carlos Corral, Madrid's Director of Sustainable Mobility Planning, presented the eight new bike itineraries to be built before the end of the year with an investment of eight million euro. Amsterdam-based urban consultant Sito Veracruz coordinated and moderated the conference.

Labeled not such a long time ago as the ‘black hole of Cycling in Europe’ (unconfirmed quote by a well known Danish cycling guru), there seems to be hope for cycling in Madrid recently. The new mayor in service has plans to make a great leap ahead.

And yes - there’s need for it: besides few segregated cycle routes, today most of the network consists of regular car lanes tagged with a bike sharrow/ 30kmh sign combination. Tugged-in between cars on the left and busses on the right: a vehicular cyclists dream, but a nightmare for the weaker and regular cyclists.

Yet, surprisingly enough, cycle advocacy groups like Madrid Ciclista so far prefer to have no dedicated cycle paths at all, rather then what is out there today. To start a change municipality planers, local cycle interest groups and the DCE experts brainstormed together about alternatives for tomorrows cycle infrastructure in Madrid. To be continued…

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