Preventive Medicine has published a survey in which it is concluded that European cities would be able to avoid around 10.000 premature deaths if their bike lane networks get expanded.
This research has been leaded by ISGlobal researchers within the framework of the PASTA (Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches) funded by the European Union.
On the survey, 167 European cities have been analyzed and the length of the bike lane network has been directly associated with the chosen transportation mode. And it is calculated that the choosing of the bike as a transportation mode could increase until it represents the 24.7% of the commutes. If they reach this increase, the European cities would be able to avoid around 10.000 premature deaths every year.
Possible scenarios that would help to avoid premature deaths.
- If all the cities that have been chosen to develop this survey would have bike lanes, the following would be the quantity of premature deaths that could be avoided in one-year time:
- London: 1.210
- Rome: 433
- Barcelona: 248
- If all these cities would expand their cycling network on a 10%, this would be the quantity of premature deaths that could be avoided in one-year time:
- London: 18
- Rome: 21
- Barcelona: 16
Cities such as London, Rome or Barcelona are the potential ones to make a change, due to the low rate of bicycle users. As it can be seen with a minimum increase (10%) considerable benefits for the health and economy could be achieved.
As stated by Natalie Mueller, researcher of ISGlobal and main author of the survey, “switching to the bicycle as a transportation mode it is beneficial for the health due to an increase associated to the physical activity, its benefits counteract the harmful effects of the air pollution and the traffic accidents”.
Therefore, governments must direct their policies to the objective in order to decrease the seductive power of the private car and make the public transportation and bicycle more attractive modes of transportation for the citizens. This way will help to improve the health and the well being of the cities and of their inhabitants.
Zicla and bike lanes.
At Zicla we have been working for more than ten years to transform waste into new materials for industry and new products for urban furniture, and traffic in cities. Aware of the importance of segregated bike lanes for sustainable mobility, we have developed two systems to segregate these routes. On one hand, we have the Zebra system that guarantees a safe condition for cyclists and for other road users. Alternatively, we have also developed the Zipper system, a modular system to segregate traffic flows formed by two pieces of high visibility thanks to their retroreflective paint.