Cape Town - Certain
iconic destinations have a reputation for being bicycle-friendly and when
visiting it is often the default mode of transport - the Netherlands and China spring to mind.
Town is one of the world’s top cities when it comes to urban cycling paths,
according to South African
Tourism - over and above the cycle paths that's been installed in the CBD,
there's a cycle route out to Milnerton along the MyCiti Cycle Route. This is an
8km ride, which ends at Woodbridge Island.
Sea Point too has
become a hub for urban cycling and locals are taking full advantage of this
fresh recreational activity.
Now a bold
move by the City of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority 9TDA)
that will gradually transform Cape Town
from a vehicle-centred city to a people-centred city wants to extend this trend in the mother city, beyond just recreational cycling, turning it into a
super city when it comes to being cycling-friendly commuting.
SEE: Urban cycling on the rise: This is how bike lanes are changing the world
The city has
published a draft Cycling Strategy which aims to increase the percentage of
commuter trips made by bicycle from the current 1% to 8% by 2030. Currently cyclists have access to at least 450 km of
cycle lanes across the city, some of which as mentioned above are separate from
City says it wants to strongly focus on growth
in commuter cycling - with the intent of impacting traffic congestion,
greenhouse gas emissions, as well improve mobility in the lower-income areas.
to TDA’s planning
department assessment of cycling in Cape
Town - mere 500 utility cyclists cycled to work in the morning peak period.
included surveys of cycling movements at 50 locations across the city, an
assessment of the available cycle facilities, a review of incident data
involving cyclists, and engagements with relevant stakeholders.
available cycling data indicates that approximately 1% of all trips in Cape Town
are made by bicycle,” says City’s Mayoral Committee
Member: Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA), Councillor Brett
Herron - with the uptake of utility cycling remaining stagnant for the
“We evidently need a new approach, together
with some key interventions from both the City and the private sector, to
realise our goal to increase the percentage of commuter trips by bicycle to 8%
within the next 13 years,” says Herron.
strategy will be available for viewing on www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay and
copies will be made available at sub council offices and City libraries from
Monday 23 January 2017.
SEE: - New hiking, cycling rules issued for Table Mountain National Park
Strategy identifies five options to improve access to affordable bicycles,
including employer programmes to purchase and maintain bicycles, a bike-share
system or a lease scheme for local trips and student travel, donations, and
bicycle distribution programmes.
the research indicates that there is great potential for increasing the uptake
of utility cycling to work, schools, public services, shopping and social
amenities across all income groups for trips of 15 km or less.
potential for growing utility cycling lies in bicycle trips to railway and bus
stations. Thus, if provided with the necessary facilities for safe storage, we
are confident that commuters will use bicycles to ride to the closest public
transport station from where they can complete the rest of their commute either
by bus or train,’ says Councillor Herron.
to become the norm, we need a network of well-designed cycle routes and
appropriate cycling infrastructure. Facilities such as lockers, changing areas,
and showers for those cycling long distances may be needed and in this regard
private employers will play an important role in creating an enabling
environment for those who want to cycle to work,’ says Herron.
challenges pertain to improved access to bicycles, ensuring that cycle routes
are safe in terms of road safety and crime, and convincing more residents to
accept and use cycling as a legitimate mode of transport.
the debate is the need for motorists to accept cycling as a legitimate mode of
mind-shift is needed where we all accept that cyclists are entitled to use the
city’s roads and where there is mutual respect among road users. We also want
to encourage cycling tourism so that visitors can explore our city on bicycles.
The possibilities are infinite,” says Councillor Herron.
Affordability is an issue
surveys confirm that commuters either do or will cycle, but that the majority
of residents cannot afford bicycles. Given the fact that low-income transport
users in Cape Town spend up to 45% of their monthly household income on
transport, while the international norm is between 5% and 10%, cycling is an
affordable alternative – provided that we improve access to bicycles in these communities,’
says Councillor Herron.
“Ironically, some of these challenges provide
us with a golden opportunity for growing our local economy should we succeed in
cultivating a cycling culture. For example, we want to explore the possibility
of establishing a bicycle manufacturing plant in Cape Town that can build and
provide low-cost bicycles for low-income households. Such an investment and a
bike-share system will lead to job creation – but then we need our residents to
take to the streets and to start a cycling revolution,’ says Councillor
What to read next on Traveller24:
- New Cape to Plett Cycle route gets R4m boost
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