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Post COVID-19, Cities Plan to be More Pedestrian-Friendly

Post COVID-19, Cities Plan to be More Pedestrian-Friendly
Pedalling into the future, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

More walkways and bicycle lanes are popping-up around cities in Europe and the US

OT Staff
May 11 , 2020
01 Min Read

With social distancing as our new norm, the world is changing and tweaking a few things about the way we live and travel. Cities across Europe (and some in the US) are increasing efforts and making their spaces more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly. WHO’s ‘Moving Around During the COVID-19 Outbreak’ notice says “whenever feasible, consider riding bicycles or walking...this provides physical distancing while helping you meet the minimum requirement for daily physical activity.”   

Cities like Berlin, Paris, Milan, London, Bogata and New York are trying to move away from cars and have given space to people to maintain a two-metre social distance. These development plans though have already existed for some time and are now being pushed with full force as most cities extend their lockdowns. For instance, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo had introduced a scheme for the city to be more bicycle-friendly by 2024. And now, Paris has around 65 kilometres of wide cycle lanes and is banning private cars from major tourist spots. 

Milan will turn roads into temporary cycle lanes during this summer and create Strade Aperte (open roads) with wider pavements. Such roads will be used by children to play and for people to exercise on.   

London, similarly, will introduce cycle lanes (though temporary for now) and wider pavements on most major routes. Public transport in the city will only run at a fifth of its capacity. In New York, cars will be banned in over 60 kilometres of the road during May. The long-term aim is to reduce traffic and turn roads near parks into open streets for pedestrians. A step in the right direction.


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