Boosting Bucaramanga’s bicycle inclusiveness

Location: Bucaramanga, Colombia

Population: 599,106 (urban population)

Climate: Tropical

Duration: 2016 – 2019

Sector: Transport sector

Funding sources: Public sources

City networks: C40

Savings: Bicycles are one of the most efficient ways of transportation in terms of carbon emissions.

Solutions: Implementation of various policies to encourage the establishment of a 20-kilometre bike line in Bucaramanga.

Multiple benefits: There are numerous advantages, including less noise and local air pollution and reduced carbon emissions from transportation.

Since 2016, the Mayor’s office in Bucaramanga has prioritized bicycle transportation on the city’s transportation agenda. Like many other cities worldwide, Bucaramanga suffers from traffic congestion within its city limits, although the average travel distance is less than 7 kilometres. It had no bicycle infrastructure in early 2016, and cycling accounted for less than 1% of the total modal share.

Objective – City officials have slowly developed cycle-inclusion regulations, with the primary goal of significantly increasing cycling as a viable transportation choice by having a solid, forward-thinking political posture.

Solutions – Bucaramanga’s goal is to promote cycling as a more accessible, healthy, and environmentally friendly means of transportation by building 20 kilometres of bike lanes by 2019 (source).

The different policies and solutions implemented are as follows (sources):

  1. The institution of a bicycle office and the 2019-2030 bicycle strategy
  • The Bicycle Office was purposely integrated into the Bucaramanga Transit Directorate to guarantee that its activities are linked and contribute to implementing the Local Plan for Road Safety in an integrated and cohesive manner.
  • The 2019-2030 Bicycle Strategy draws a roadmap for the activities of the Bicycle Office. An institutional framework for implementing, replicating, and scaling up these ambitious city-wide advances has been established.
  1. Providing safe and convenient cycling infrastructure:
  • The city’s first dedicated bike lane connected the main public library to the public university. By the end of 2019, the City hopes to expand the bicycle infrastructure network from its present 2.6 kilometres to a total of 20 kilometres, connecting areas of educational, commercial, and cultural relevance.

Funding Construction on a 20-kilometre cycle path network — a $4.4 million investment – along with major urban thoroughfares will be completed by the end of 2019.

Innovation – N/A

Success factors: 1) The recent “Hecho Metropolitano” declaration means that all these developments are legally binding on the entire Metropolitan Area. As a result, the three neighbouring city municipalities of Girón, Floridablanca, and Piedecuesta must be cycle-inclusive by 2030 at the latest; 2) Successful integration of the bicycle with the city’s other modes of transportation is critical for this scheme’s long-term success and for the bicycle to become a go-to mode of transportation for Bucaramanga residents.

Significant outcomes:

  • Economic: Investing in cohesive, interconnected cycling networks frequently leads to a considerable long-term return on investment due to increased economic activity from local citizens, as well as lower costs associated with health issues caused by excessive local air pollution;
  • Environmental: Bicycles are one of the most carbon-efficient ways of travel. Moreover, the proportion of non-motorized transport reduces the concentration of local air pollutants.

Synergies with local policies:

  • Bucaramanga’s 2017-2020 Local Plan for Road Safety (PLSV) emphasizes non-motorized modes, including walking and cycling and public transit. Road regulation, increased signalization, and educational campaigns are significant ways to improve road safety, reduce accident rates, and address informality;
  • Hechos metropolitanos. By which the implementation of the bicycle strategy as a mode of transportation in the Bucaramanga Metropolitan Area is recognized as a metropolitan fact;
  • 2019-2030 Bicycle Strategy. The Strategy aims to improve the conditions for bicycle usage safely and equitably while also improving urban conditions for the entire community in Bucaramanga, Floridablanca, Girón, and Piedecuesta [source].

Political alignment:

  • National Climate Change Decree (SISCLIMA). Through collaboration between public, corporate, and nonprofit institutions, it strives to ‘coordinate, articulate, formulate, monitor, and evaluate policies, initiatives, and measures linked to climate change adaptation and mitigation of greenhouse gases [source].
  • Colombian Low-Carbon Development Strategy. It calls for establishing a GHG emissions baseline and developing and implementing low-carbon development strategies for different sectors, including transportation [source].
  • Resolución 20203040015885. The Ministry of Transportation regulated Sustainable and Safe Mobility Plans for municipalities, districts, and metropolitan regions required to approve the Land Use Plan by this Resolution.

Marketability [source]: If the following factors are considered: 1) The key is widespread bicycle integration. This type of design requires the successful integration of the bicycle with the city’s other modes of transportation. 2) Create an environment conducive to the growth of new businesses.

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Sector: Transport

Country / Region: Colombia

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: Realdania