Text: Anna Plaszczyk, photo: Thule

8 October 2015

Dutch studies made by Dutch Cycling Federation have proven that in larger cities, it takes 10% less time to reach destination by a bike than by a car. For more than 30% of the Dutch, the bicycle has become a daily means of transport. 20% of the Hungarians and Danes use this form of transport. Unfortunately, until now in Poland, three times fewer people than in the Netherlands have decided to ride a bike.

Up to 30% of the tracks, used by Europeans driving cars, is less than 3 km long. Half of all journeys by car is not more than 5 km long. Meanwhile, they could be easily covered by bike and thus it can contribute directly to reducing the amount of traffic jams in cities.
Many European agglomerations have already observed this relationship. Amsterdam, Copenhagen or Barcelona are investing intensively in the development of cycling infrastructure. Such investments can give measurable benefits. They reduce air pollution, traffic and noise in cities. They are also connected with increasing physical activity, which directly translates into health statistics.

Polish cities are also trying to implement a solution for cyclists. Warszawa is a leader, it has 350 km of bike paths, 55 km of pedestrian-bicycle paths and over 16 km contra-passes for a single-track vehicle. In the capital of Poland there are more and more bike rentals, which are very popular among the locals and tourists. Electric car rentals in Nice or Lyon function in a similar way, the level of noise and pollution has decreased significantly there.

Bike rentals in Warsaw have influenced the development of new bike paths and facilities for owners of single-track vehicles. That is why, Lublin decided to invest in municipal bike rental stations and at this moment only Warsaw has more. Lublin system will have 40 rental stations, 400 bicycles and bicycle paths are more than 100 km long. For these and other actions Lublin has been recognized in the ECO-CITY competition, which rewards the most ecologically friendly cities in Poland.

The third edition of ECO-CITY competition is on, it will select two winners in the category of sustainable mobility - one city below 100 thousand citizens, second -over 100 thousand residents. The remaining three categories of the competition are: sustainable mobility, waste management and water management. The condition for participation is to fill and send competition questionnaires available on the website to September 30-th.

A sustainable mobility is one of the four categories in this years edition of the ECO-CITY contest, addressed to local governments. Malbork and Lublin won it last year. ECO-CITY is a project of the Embassy of France in Poland, prepared in cooperation with the Renault Poland, SAUR Poland, EDF Group represented by EDF Poland, DK Energy and TIRU, the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management and companies: Saint-Gobain, Schneider Electric and the National Energy Conservation Agency.