New bike racks to promote sustainable mobility in Reggio Emilia
The bicycle is the ideal way to get around the city as it does not pollute, takes up little public space and is the fastest means of transport for short journeys. However, there are some concerns among the majority of the citizens about the use of bikes. One of the main disincentives to cycle in the city is the risk of bicycle theft.
Reggio Emilia has always been affected by this problem. It was therefore necessary to act and ensure safe parking for bicycles.
The project which is part of the city’s post-Covid Action Plan to promote a new and more sustainable way of moving, involves the installation of over 850 bicycle racks within the historic centre. There are two typologies of bike racks: the most common is easily removable in case of public events. The other one is fixed to the ground with concrete. Both the chosen models are arch shaped, which is more comfortable and safer than the previous racks. In fact, it allows people to easily lock the frame and (at least) one wheel.
Firstly, the city has mapped all the bike racks within the historic centre, spotting their conditions and usage index. The information collected was then translated into an interactive tool in order to plan the best position for the new bike racks in the points of greatest need.
Reggio Emilia, after the first phase of the pandemic, has decided to invest not only in parking policies for cars but also for bicycles. This is an example of how parking policies can promote a change of habits: with safer, more comfortable and theft-proof racks, more citizens will be able to cycle around the city. The city conducted an analysis of the current situation and cyclists' behaviour in order to plan the best locations for the new racks: a real bike parking plan.
In the upcoming weeks, about 50% of the bike racks in the historic centre will be replaced. This is only the beginning: every year, for the next two years, resources have already been committed to replace 100% of the bike parking in the historic centre and to ensure safe bike racks in the main attractive spots of Reggio Emilia.
"We had announced it and today we finally see the first new racks: with an investment of 70’000 euros, we are able to ensure safe bike racks, in the historic centre - says the Alderman to sustainable policies Carlotta Bonvicini - This is a concrete action that will allow Reggio Emilia citizens to use their bicycles more and more often in all their journeys (work, shopping, leisure). It is not an infrastructure but a facility. A small attention that the Administration wants to reserve to citizens who adopt sustainable behaviours.
People who choose the bicycle will finally be able to park in the new anti-theft bicycle racks.