published on 12 January 2021 in energy

Covid Lanes, the Legambiente dossier on sustainable mobility

2020 was the year of pop-up bike lanes, that is the bike lanes that rapidly popped up due to the change in urban mobility following the Covid-19 emergency. The post lockdown period in Italy was in fact characterised by an increase in cycling and a greater attention to sustainable mobility by citizens, encouraged by government incentives. The advantages of cycling are obvious: people reduce their travel costs and at the same time increase their mental and physical well-being, cities see a reduction in pollution and traffic. In 2020, we discovered that it is possible to build bike lanes, in just a few days, at low cost and with limited work, along main roads and busy routes. These are minimal operations that can be developed later with the addition of physical barriers and definition of dedicated passages aiming to transform them into real bike lanes. Many of the pop-up bike lanes implemented in 2020 involved simply marking off a portion of the existing roadway by painting lines.

Bike lane along Corso Buenos Aires in Milan

The effects of the lockdown and pandemic on urban mobility are the subject of the new dossier entitled “Covid Lanes“drawn up by Legambiente. The Legambiente dossier, which examines Italian cities, reveals a total of over 193 kilometres of pop-up bike lanes. Milan is the Italian city that has created the most kilometres, 35, followed by Genoa with 30. It is a step forward that must be consolidated, as also required by the Urban Plans for Sustainable Mobility (PUMS), which provide for 2,626 km of new bike lanes, to be added to the 2,341 km already existing in 22 Italian cities.

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