Ride a city bike to COP19/CMP9

On Saturday, November 16th the City of Warsaw, together with European Cyclists' Federation and SloCaT partnership, organized a Climate Ride. The event took place as a part of the UN climate summit and the Transport Day planned for November 17th. The Ride was attended by over 60 cyclists including COP19/CMP9 delegates and city residents. The event started at Plac Bankowy and had its finish at the city bike sharing scheme Veturilo station near the National Stadium.

Growing fumes' emission in cities is caused mostly by traffic on the streets and ineffective transport management. Developing a sustainable traffic planning in cities and its surrounding agglomerations  is one of the ways of reducing the emissions that cause climate change. According to this strategy, the authorities of City of Warsaw are undertaking a number of activities that lead to promote bicycle communication among its residents.

In 2012 a city bike sharing scheme Veturilo was introduced in Warsaw and has been enthusiastically adopted by Varsovians. USA Today nominated it as the 10th best city bike sharing system in the world. It is also the 8th biggest system in Europe. The fact that the millionth rental was reached only after 8 months of operations prove that Warsaw residents are eager not only to use bikes as the form of recreation, but they use them as the mean of transport as well.

In 2012 in President of Warsaw has appointed dedicated plenipotentiary to deal with issues related to bicycle transportation. His role is to transform existing bike paths into long-distance paths, establish separate lanes for cyclists on the public roads and to take care of the technical solutions and social campaigns to improve the safety of all bike users.

Although Warsaw is constantly evolving in terms of cycling, we still have a lot to do in this area. Therefore we are working on improving the infrastructure, i.a. thanks to financial support from the European Union that will allow us to build new bicycle paths – said the deputy President of City of Warsaw, Jarosław Dąbrowski

The representatives of international organizations which promote bicycle transport believe that these kind of events show what the future of city transportation can be. Every day around 35 million of Europeans ride a bike but this mean of transport still needs to be promoted in order to fight with emissions.

I am glad that riding a bike is getting very popular in Poland. I remember that a few years ago on the way to work, my bicycle trace was the only one left in the snow. Years pass by and I see more and more cyclists around the city. That picture makes me feel happy – said Paweł Mikusek, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Environment.

It was an attempt to get people interested in touring Warsaw on two wheels and at the same time to start appreciating the bicycles as a low-carbon mean of transport.

Due to the COP19/CMP9 conference and the Transport Day 2013, Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) is organizing a debate on low carbon transport that will take place on November 17th in Hyatt Hotel in Warsaw. More than 250 people have announced their participation in the meeting.

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