Cities around the world are seeing dwindling numbers of fossil-fuel powered cars on their streets, and many are planning to keep it that way after lockdowns ease. Where car, bus and train journeys have been dwindling, bicycles have been picking up the slack. As a form of isolated transport that doubles as exercise – that is much easier given the wealth of empty streets – cycling has become more appealing in a number of cities. In March, use of bike-share systems increased by roughly 150% in Beijing and 67% in New York, where cycling on main thoroughfares increased by 52%. Meanwhile, cycling traffic increased by 151% on trails in Philadelphia and in April Dundee saw cycling traffic increase by 94%. To accommodate streets now busier with bikes, as well as facilitate social distancing, some places have installed temporary cycle lanes or closed streets to cars. Pop-up bike lanes have appeared in cities including Berlin, Budapest, Mexico City, New York, Dublin and Bogotá. Governments from New Zealand to Scotland have made funding available for temporary cycle lanes and walkways amid the pandemic. In Brussels, the entire city core will become a priority zone for cyclists and pedestrians from early May for the forseeable future. Meanwhile, temporary street closures to cars have taken place in Brighton, Bogotá, Cologne, Vancouver and Sydney as well as multiple US cities including Boston, Denver and Oakland. In England, restrictions have been lifted to enable and encourage councils to more quickly close streets to cars.
BBC 30th April 2020 read more »