MOSCOW, June 8 (Itar-Tass) - Bicycles will soon become not just a hobby but a full-fledged means of transportation in Moscow.
“We have started building bicycle tracks when repairing major roads and outbound highways,” Moscow’s acting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Saturday, June 8.
He inspected a new 16.2 kilometre bicycle track construction site along Frunzenskaya Embankment. “This is the first stage. Work will be completed in about two weeks,” Sobyanin’s Deputy Poytr Biryukov said.
Sobyanin also talked with bikers who said that the new tracks were as good as those in Europe.
He asked them to submit suggestions concerning new bicycle parking places and said their number could be increased wherever necessary.
Acting Deputy Mayor Maxim Liksutov said earlier that a public agreement would be signed between the city and the community of bikers, under which new tracks and infrastructure would be built by next season.
He noted that 6,500 Muscovites had used cycle hire points in the central part of the city. “We think these are very good results,” he added.
Cycle hire points have been set up under a joint project launched by the Mayor’s Office and the Bank of Moscow.
There are 82 kilometers of bicycle tracks in Moscow, including 68 kilometres in parks and 13.5 on the streets.
According to the programme “Development of Moscow’s Transport System in 2012-2016”, a network of bicycle parking facilities will provide the basis for bicycle infrastructure in the city. They will be built at major transfer hubs: near subway stations, railway stations and platforms, bus stations.
In addition, bicycle parking areas will also appear at “social infrastructure facilities, educational institutions, and recreational places for young people.” The city authorities are planning to create a network of bicycle tracks, both combined and separate, in 2012-2016. Several new routes have been proposed.
One of them will be built from Biryulovo Vostochnoye in the south of the city to the nearest Tsaritsyno subway station, which is 6 kilometers away.
Another bike path will run to the Orekhovo and Tsaritsyno subway stations (11.5 kilometres) in the same area.
A bike track will be built from the Chukhlinka platform on the Gorkovskaya railway line in the east of the city to the Tekstilshchiki subway station in the southeast and farther to the Lyublino platform on the Kurskaya railway line.
Bike tracks will also link the Veshnyaki railway station with Kuzminki Park, Pechatniki and Lyublino districts. Bicycle tracks will be built to Zhulebino, a sprawling residential neighbourhood in the southeast of Moscow, link Profsoyuznaya Street in the southwest to Bitsa Park, connect the town of Vostochnya with the Pervomaiskaya subway station in the east, as well as the Universitet and Konkovo subway stations (13.7 kilometres). The latter route will cover nine higher educational institutions.
Bike maps indicating the safest and fastest routes will be made available on stands near bike tracks. They will also be published as booklets and interactive Internet maps compatible with mobile devices.
Muscovites have more than 3 million bicycles, but less than 0.01 percent of people use them for moving around the city because of the total lack of necessary infrastructure, heavy traffic and lack of interest in this mode of transportation.
The average speed of above-ground public transport at rush hours is 11 kilometres per hour, while a bicycle can move on dedicated lanes at a speed of 15.5 kilometres per hour.