São Paulo exports weekly biking events

“The Ciclofaixas de Lazer (Leisure Cycle lanes), which are famous for turning the avenues of São Paulo into bicycle lanes on Sundays and national holidays such as Good Friday, are spreading throughout the country. Capitals and inland cities are adopting the model as an option for leisure and physical activity. Other cities are planning to soon begin copying what has been happening sucessfully in Sao Paulo since 2009.

This is the case of Brasilia and Rio. In the federal capital, a journey of around 7 km through the Eixo Monumental has already been tested experimentally in December and in March of this year and is scheduled to open soon. The idea is that one of the car lanes will be reserved for bicycles on Sundays from 8am to 4pm, with cones separating the cars from the bike lane. In Rio, the inauguration of the 17 km route linking Quinta da Boa Vista to Aterro do Flamengo, two of the largest city parks, was scheduled for March, but was postponed due to operational issues. Curitiba also had the bike lanes, but was shut down due to the lack of users. It should be reopened soon, using another route, near parks that are most frequented by the population.

Other cities have already “imported” the model, which is in full operation. In Caxias do Sul (RS), a route of about 4.5 km is open every Sunday from 2pm to 8pm, except in case of rain. “The bike lane helps put cycling culture in Caxias do Sul,” says cyclist Ana Zaniol, 50, referring to both the adoption of the habit by the population and the education of cyclists, motorists and pedestrians in terms of living side by side with the bicyclists. “Afterwards comes the separate bike path,” she predicts. The event, which already attracts about 400 people each Sunday, will be extended for another three kilometers.

Recife inaugurated their bike lane just this Sunday. At about 20 km long, the entire route encompasses several other routes that connect the southern and northern parts of the city, passing the historic part of the capital of Pernambuco. “After the consolidation of these two routes, we will expand the lanes into other arteries, all towards Marco Zero,” said the secretary of tourism in Recife, Felipe Carreras. He hopes that, because of the incentive to coexist with bicycles and cars on the same streets, the rate of car accidents involving cyclists in the city will fall by half in the near future.” – Estadão

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