Even in a vibrant city such as Hamburg there can be days you wouldn’t exactly write home about.
But then there are days that make all the difference – 26 June 2016, for instance. This was the day when the Alliance for Cycling was officially launched by Olaf Scholz, Hamburg’s then First Mayor, as well as the relevant Hamburg ministers, the heads of the seven district offices, and the heads of the district assemblies. But why is Hamburg so keen on becoming a bike-friendly city?
Cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam demonstrate how it works.
The quality of life in urban areas can be improved by increasing the number of bicycles while reducing the number of cars. This is because bikes are a handy, swift, cost-efficient and flexible mode of transport. What is more, cyclists lead a healthier life and thus contribute to keeping health expenses low. Cycling enhances social cohesion, while also making cities more attractive for families. Enough reasons for the Hamburg Senate to systematically promote bicycle traffic in Hamburg.
“Hamburg is committed to promoting bicycle traffic – with courage and determination.”
So it’s about quality of life…
…and about future prospects, about the climate, and about health. But it’s just as much about promoting fair play on Hamburg’s roads. After all, the declared goal is to increase the share of bike traffic of total transport to 25% in the coming years.
259 measures: 32 completed, 14 being implemented, and another 177 scheduled.
45 million euro has been invested in infrastructure, services and communications since 2017.
The budget allocated to promoting cycling has multiplied five-fold since 2008.
The network of 14 “velo routes” in Hamburg will comprise 280 km, of which 95% have been scheduled or implemented.
Cycling is becoming ever more popular – and more reputable too.
According to a representative study, 81% of Hamburg’s locals enjoy cycling. 80% would like to see more people using bikes. And 69% of respondents even consider cycling to be a “transport mode of the future”. The perceived negative aspects include poor weather, fear of accidents, faulty infrastructure as well as a lack of a positive climate among cyclists, pedestrians and car users.
(Source: Sinus Institut)
“In 2018, we saw an increase of 20% in cyclists compared with 2017. Since 2000, the number has gone up by 80%.”
72% perceive the social climate on Hamburg’s roads as tense.
A positive climate among cyclists, car drivers and pedestrians should be in the interest of all parties involved.
This is because the expansion of bike traffic can benefit other key projects in the city too. These include e.g. Hamburg’s climate protection scheme, its strategy for reducing air pollution, scheduled noise reduction measures as well as Hamburg’s mobility programme. These are certainly good enough reasons for joining forces in an effort to increase the quality of life in Hamburg even further and for keeping a calm demeanour while out on the road. And who knows, perhaps a more positive climate on the road could also spill over to the weather.