The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality has approved a strategic plan aimed at doubling the length of bike paths in the city from 140 kilometres to 300 kilometres by 2025.
The plan also aims to increase the number of personal vehicle journeys in the city in the next five years, from 11% to 20%, significantly higher than the average Israeli city nowadays, which accounts for about 3%.
The Municipality also announced last week that it plans to add 11 pedestrian streets; this is done as part of an overall urban policy that prioritises pedestrians and cyclists and encourages local trade.
Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, said: “The city of Tel Aviv-Yafo has undergone a revolution in recent years and bicycles and personal vehicles have become an integral part of the urban culture. We continue to work and pave additional kilometres of bike paths while keeping three main goals insight: “returning” the streets to pedestrians; reducing traffic congestion, reducing air pollution.”
Meital Lehavi, Deputy Mayor for Transportation at the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, added: “It is a revolutionary plan that for the first time turns segments of bike paths into one uninterrupted network. The program is based on models designed according to cyclers’ demands and needs of accessibility while mapping the most crucial streets for bike paths, all staying in accordance with law enforcement guidelines. On top of that incorporating aspects of education, cultural and behavioural adjustments through the distribution of information and accurate law enforcement. There is no doubt that a good bicycle alternative can lower the cost of living and improve air quality and the environment for the city and its residents.”
The Municipal investment in improving the city’s biking experience is part of an overall upgrade that bicycle cities around the world have achieved. The benefits linked to these improvements include the reduction of traffic congestion, more bustling urban neighbourhoods and high accessibility to faster, cheaper and healthier modes of transport. In addition, the implementation of the plan is expected to reduce traffic congestion in the city by 30%, therefore, people who depend on their vehicles will also profit from the improved infrastructures. The municipality also aims to reduce the number of accidents caused by cyclers by 40%.
The main points of the strategic plan include:
– Paving tens of kilometres of new bike paths which will create an uninterrupted and safe bike path network
– Installing bicycle ramps on public stairs to facilitate walking a bicycle up or down the stairways
– Creating innovative bicycle parking facilities such as the instalment of bicycle docking stations in the courtyards of private buildings
– Continue to cooperate and promote the use of shared electric vehicles while improving the regulations in order to keep pedestrian and riders safe