Cape Town cycle enthusiasts are coming together for a weekly lunchtime cycle during October Transport Month to promote cycling in the city centre.
Cycling as a form of non-motorised transport offers many benefits to people and to the environment.
Globally, utility cycling is increasingly seen as an asset to integrated, accessible, safe cities and a means to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2017, the City of Cape Town approved a comprehensive Cycling Strategy for the City, which acknowledges the important role utility cycling can play in Cape Town’s journey to become a safe, healthy, opportunity-filled city for all.
Some of the commonly-cited benefits associated with utility cycling in place of driving, which would be invaluable to Cape Town, include decongestion of roads, improved mental and physical health of citizens, a reduction in air pollution, reduced CO2 emissions, increased efficiency and time saved and a greater feeling of community, social cohesion and safety as more people take to the streets.
“Cycling has the potential to improve our streets and our quality of life. While government has an important role to play, it is equally up to us as everyday citizens to create the kinds of streets we would like to live and play in.” Marcela Guerrero Casas, Co-founder & Managing Director at Open Streets Cape Town
Weekly Lunchtime Cycle
In the spirit of Transport Month, cycling advocates are gathering for a weekly lunchtime cycle around the city centre.
What’s the route this week? Contact Julia Munroe – email@example.com
The aim of these rides, besides having fun on bicycles, is to bring a cycling presence to the CBD, provide the opportunity for people to gain confidence by riding in a group, and to build a community of cyclists. Every week follows a new route and people of all cycling abilities are encouraged to join.
“Although the city centre has developed a number of cycle lanes, these are under-utilised and often disregarded. Vehicles are parked across the lanes or informal gatherings and pedestrians further impede bicycle passage. Cycling provides a more efficient way for people to commute, especially within the CBD. We need to support actions which can activate the streets and get more people onto bikes and into the cycle lanes.” Stephen Granger, Manager of Environmental Planning and Sustainability, City of Cape Town.
Although the weekly cycling movement acknowledges that cycling cannot address the many complex challenges of transport in the broader Cape Town area, this drive hopes to raise the profile of cycling as we work towards achieving a safer, more reliable, affordable and accessible transport system in our city.
For more cycling activations, join Open Streets’ weekly cycle to work with the #Bike2Work Campaign, alongside Pedal Power Association and the Bicycling Empowerment Network.
Every Friday these advocacy groups are leading ‘bike buses’ from Claremont, Table View, Gugulethu and Athlone. Leave your car at home and join one of these groups for your morning commute. Moreover, the next Open Streets Day will be taking place on 28 October in Woodstock.
Blog by Tiffany Chalmers & Julia Munroe
Have you seen Cape Town Green CYCLE Map?