Monday, November 29, 2010

Cycling down 7% in 20 years

I wrote about the Regional travel study earlier. What is sad that cycling is losing it's share. In 1989 cycling had 28% share, 2009 it was only 21%. Some was lost to walking and cars and teenagers using mopeds. More families have a car or two. People are getting lazy!

The city had an economic boom and has rapidly grown from 100k to 140k inhabitants and new suburbs have been built on the edges of the town. So the distance to downtown or work or where ever the people are going gets longer. Long distances make cycling lose it's advantages over cars.

Recently the city council approved plans to build a parking garage for a thousand cars under the pedestrian street in down town. It's a part of their 2020-plan. They want to revive the businesses downtown.

The budget was 30 million two years ago, now it is 60 million Euros. That is 60000€ for each parking place. It will be interesting to see how much it will actually cost. Is 100 million enough?

There were promises to make more streets pedestianised and improvements to the bike routes after the garage is completed, but we'll see if that happens. What is certain though that this will get more trips done by cars when the parking is made easier. Will it bring the economic boost to the downtown area businesses? Well, the hypermarkets at the edges of the town get lots of customers by car. So having more cars must mean more customers to the downtown area, too?

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