Why Muscovites are so slow to change on the bike

Several years ago, the Muscovites still turned around when seen on the road cyclist. Especially conspicuous those brave who went on the side of the roadway. Careful cyclists made their way between pedestrians on the sidewalks. For a long time they remained a small group of exotics. The majority of Muscovites use the car, standing in traffic jams, or crowded subway. But gradually the situation is changing.

Weaseling — the beginning

The Bicycle is increasingly recognized as a means of transportation, says Hope Serebin, an employee of the NGO “Let’s bike it”, which since 2010 conducts lobbying work for the development of Bicycle use. If he had intended for sport and free time for children, today more and more people use it as a means of transportation.

A small revolution began with the introduction of weaseling that Moscow launched in 2013 — the same year that new York. Locals and tourists can rent a bike in one of the 380 points. Total available rental 3750 bikes. Payment is made on the map. During the first season of it was recorded 70 thousand trips. Three years later, in 2016, there were 1,6 million. Meanwhile, in new York in 2016 for 10 thousand bikes, there have been 14 million journeys.

The reasons for this difference are varied. In addition to a long Russian winter, catches the eye is another aspect — while in new York city has an extensive network of Bicycle lanes, two-wheeled friends in Moscow often have to travel on the roadway or the sidewalk. Although there are several bike paths in the city centre, but they are not very long and weekends are often used by pedestrians.

The number of paths is small, and they, unfortunately, do not always correspond to safety requirements. Printed on the side of the road belarusmade practically will not protect cyclists if cars in the city centre allowed to ride at a speed of 80 km/h Moscow transport Department proudly declares that the number of accidents involving cyclists from 2014 to 2016 has decreased from 301 to 241. And this explains the rapid expansion of infrastructure for cyclists. In Paris, for example, the number of accidents after the introduction of weaseling initially increased.

The construction of bike lanes has stalled

Moscow till 2020 planned to build a lot of paths. However, the plan for unknown reasons was shelved. This was told Alexey Sidorov from “Cycling club Yauza”, which actively supports the expansion of Bicycle paths along the river Yauza. From the town centre in the direction of the field is planned for the bike path with a length of 30 km. the City supports the project, and some sections of the track already exist, but recent expansion has stalled — and in the city.

The lack of advertising campaigns no. At the end of may Let’s bike for the fifth time conducting the parade, which will be attended by thousands of cyclists travelling on is blocked off for the parade the main streets of the city. With the help of the action “To work by bike”, which also conducts the organization Sherbini, on Friday, the company encouraged its employees to bike. In small tents, handing out water bottles and bananas. Among the sponsors were IT companies, banks and even oil companies, says Serebin. All they are interested in a healthy and happy employees. The city is not worth anything, but he enjoys is. On Friday, the transport Ministry reported that 10 thousand participants.

And yet the authorities can be interested in the exaggeration of the scale of the Cycling revolution. Opposition politician Alexei Navalny, along with his Fund to fight corruption in 2015, ran the finances of weaseling and identified significant inconsistencies. The city and two sponsor Bank has invested in the project so much money that each bike would cost more than 7000 francs. How much was spent, in fact, unknown.