Our city is going to become more cyclist friendly, thanks to local campaign Bicycle Cape Town. The efforts of a handful of activists has translated into a commitment by The City of Cape Town to construct proper cycling facilities along the full length of Albert Road of Woodstock – with the intention of minimising danger to cyclists wanting to commute into the CBD.
Established by a group of passionate individuals, Bicycle Cape Town was created to effect positive change in the area of city cycling and have had a huge part in helping to make the dream of more bikes lanes in our city a reality. By consolidating their focus, these advocates are working to make Cape Town a safer place for people who want to make cycling a part of their lifestyle.
‘The core aims are to see more people cycling, more often, for more reasons,’ says Andrew Wheeldon, managing director of NGO Bicycling Empowerment Network and one of the driving forces behind Bicycle Cape Town. ‘The progress has been tremendous, with bike lanes being discussed with ever increasing commitment. This is something we have been working towards for the last ten years and things are really beginning to take shape now.’
He explains how some of the biggest challenges have been budget and the fact that often other projects take priority over the needs of cyclists. Shifting road planning teams to think more strategically and effectively in respect of bicycles has also proved no small feat, but thankfully all these things are now starting to change.
‘As more events occur, and more bike lanes emerge, so will a consciousness and culture of cycling develop,’ says Andrew of the awareness these new lanes may stir in the public. ‘The environment will become safer for cycling, and more people will start cycling – with more social cycling events for more people to attend!’
While lines indicating bicycle right of way have already been painted in areas such as Plumstead (as part of an interim test), full scale implementation of bicycle lanes will only begin in January 2013.