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Information on the move Budapest Bicycling: Which Way Forward? Greg Spencer, REC ELTIS Training Session April 14-15, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Information on the move Budapest Bicycling: Which Way Forward? Greg Spencer, REC ELTIS Training Session April 14-15, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Information on the move Budapest Bicycling: Which Way Forward? Greg Spencer, REC ELTIS Training Session April 14-15, 2008 Szentendre

2 2 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, Points in this Presentation Background of Cycling in Hungary Utilitarian Cycling in Budapest Today Critical Mass in Budapest Why Paris is a Good Example for Budapest Conclusion

3 3 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, Background Bicycle widely used in Hungary during planned economy (and elsewhere in Socialist bloc) because it was inexpensive but … lingering stigma today of bike of ‘proletarian’ transport

4 4 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, Background continued Skyrocketing car traffic % increase in Budapest

5 5 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, Background continued Influence of car lobby in Budapest politics –2005 proposal for city-wide parking fees struck down by media, angry motorists –Slager Radio talk-show host Gabor Bochkor, Sept “You know what I’d do with a bicyclist? Lock him in a garage and start the motor of my car.” – City Hall breaks promise of bike lanes on Rakoczi ut because there’s ‘no room’ Rakoczi ut

6 6 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, State of play in Budapest: Cycling Levels 1-2% modal share, on par with Prague, Warsaw Less cycling during weekdays than weekends Bicycle traffic counts — 1999 LocationSeasonAll day traffic count, both directions WeekdayWeekend Szentendrei Street, north city limitsSummerNot counted2,344 Vitorla Street-Római Street intersectionSummerNot counted1,206 Vaci Street, north connection to rail bridgeSummer1,0302,354 Ujpest city gateSpring9201,158 Buda upper quay at Margit BridgeSummer9502,760 Dozsa Gyorgy Street-Vagany Street intersectionSpring77394 Szilagyi Erzsebet Boulevaard-Retek Street-Krisztina Ring Road intersection Summer8241,130 Buda upper quay at the Chain Bridge on the quay bike path Summer1,1702,024 Veres Peter Street-Jokai Street intersectionSummer Hungaria Ring Road-Stefania StreetSummer1, Csomori Street-Rakos CreekSummer Kossuth Square-Alkotmany StreetSpring Szeremi Street-Hengermalom Street intersectionSpring7701,018

7 7 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, State of play in Budapest: Infrastructure

8 8 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, State of play in Budapest: Infrastructure First path (10 km Budapest- Szentendre) built in 1987 for recreational purposes Currently, km of cycling paths, but 2/3 just painted lines on sidewalks

9 9 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, State of play in Budapest: Infrastructure Paths mainly on one side of street only No coherent network (~500 km needed to cover full city) Paths lead to nowhere

10 10 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, State of play in Budapest: City Spending Late : EUR 400,000/year -- less than 1/10th of 1% of city budget -- for construction of ~10km paths/year 2002: Spending frozen New policy: Bicycle projects can only be carried out if piggybacked onto larger road building projects

11 11 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, Critical Mass: Maybe largest in World

12 12 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, Critical Mass continued Twice annual ride with police escort (Car-Free Day in Fall, Earth Day in Spring) Attendance climbing steadily –Fall 2004: 4,500 –Spring 2005: 10,000 –Fall 2006: 20,000 –Spring 2006: 32,000 –Fall 2006: Called off due to unrelated street riots –Spring 2007: 50,000

13 13 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, Critical Mass continued Mayor Gabor Demszky’s response day after Earth Day 2005 Critical Mass: ‘It’s not worth spending a more serious amount on bike paths, because 140 km of paths have already been built and just a few people use them.’

14 14 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, The Parisian example Despite hosting the Tour de France and having invented the velocipede, the French, at least in Paris, don’t have a tradition of using bicycles as transport Until recent years, Paris had almost no urban cyclists

15 15 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, The Parisian example continued In 1995, Paris Mayor Jean Tibéri began promoting bicycling as a way to give his new administration personality. That winter, a month-long transport strike made bicycles one of the only ways to travel in Paris.

16 16 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, The Parisian example continued Bicycling as transport has been a priority for two consecutive mayoral administrations Mayor Delanoë openly confronts car problem: “I will fight, with all the means at my disposal, against the harmful, ever- increasing and unacceptable hegemony of the automobile.” Mayor Betrand Delanoë

17 17 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, The Parisian example continued From 1995 to 2004, the city built km cycling lanes, half of which are separated from both foot and vehicle traffic

18 18 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, The Parisian example continued Mayor’s Office spent EUR 4 million/year on cycling, including infrastructure building and maintenance and other promotional measures (2005 data)

19 19 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, The Parisian example continued Other bike-friendly measures –‘Paris Breathes’ event, which closes streets to motor traffic in several areas during weekends –‘The Plage’, in which the banks of the Seine are reserved for pedestrians, skaters and cyclists during summer –Below-30 km/hr zones, where motor traffic is slowed and through traffic restricted –Real estate developers required to provide certain amount of ‘two-wheeler’ parking accommodation

20 20 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, The Parisian example continued Examples of street-side ‘two-wheeler’ parking facilities

21 21 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, The Parisian example continued Other bike-friendly measures –Bicycle promotions on city website and in print media –Velib – bike rental scheme introduced in 2007, with plans for ~1,500 stations and 20,000+ bicycles

22 22 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, The Parisian example continued Results: 58% increase in bike traffic from

23 23 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, The Parisian Example continued Modal share near 2%, with hopes of doubling this with full roll-out of Velib

24 24 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, Conclusions Bike use will increase if there’s demand and city makes right investments In tight urban spaces, can’t build proper cycling infrastructure without taking space from cars

25 25 Greg Spencer, REC April 14, Thank you for your attention! Greg Spencer web: tel.: (36-26) ; ext.208


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