According to the Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP). Making the Economic Case for Cycling in the 2022 ReportThe total cost of buying, operating, maintaining, fueling and insuring a bicycle is about $3.00 per 100 km. A private car is 6 times more expensive, about $18.00 per 100 km. ITDP is a global organization that uses its technical expertise, direct advocacy and policy leadership in programs aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change, improving air quality and supporting prosperous, sustainable and equitable cities.
The report highlights that bicycles are already widely available in most parts of the world and therefore provide an immediate solution to a number of challenges worldwide, such as saving on congestion costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing car trips. Infrastructure to support cycling can also be built very quickly and at a much lower cost than the infrastructure required for an ever-expanding fleet of larger vehicles.
Given the current supply and demand constraints for new electric vehicles in key markets for large vehicles, the supply of large quantities of affordable zero-emission vehicles in Africa may be a major challenge, as major OEMs will naturally favor larger traditional markets over larger ones. Africa, which generally has low motorization rates. The large investments required for the widespread deployment of applications supporting electric vehicle charging networks, especially when it comes to Level 3 charging, may require considerable time for the accelerated deployment of such infrastructure. Encouraging cycling in city centers can help reduce harmful emissions that put people’s health at risk. Increased use of bicycles will help slow the negative effects of climate change in many parts of the world faster than the most ambitious increase in the supply of larger vehicles, given the supply constraints mentioned earlier.
If the right conditions and supporting infrastructure were in place, electric bicycles could be adequate for many people’s daily needs. For example, according to CPCS Transcom International Limited’s Zimbabwe National Transport Master Plan, Final Report (2017), the average commuting distance in Harare is only 15 km. Current traffic chaos in Zimbabwe’s major cities as a result of lack of adequate mass transit options such as minibus taxis (locally known as Kombis), limited number of buses, as well as limited routes served by the existing premium vehicle fleet. capacity buses present a great opportunity for new forms of transport solutions.
Skyrocketing fuel prices also mean there has never been a better time for Harare commuters to embrace cycling. However, major concerns remain. These include:
- Dedicated bike lanes and supporting infrastructure are few and far between
- Aggressive and intolerant driving style by drivers of larger vehicles creating an intimidating atmosphere for cyclists
- Safety at night due to lack of adequate street lighting
The ITDP report also notes that a new car costs more than the median annual household income in most parts of the world, while bicycles and even electric bicycles (e-bikes) cost less than 6% of annual income. This means that it should be easier for people to switch to cycling than buying their first car, or even upgrading their current one. We just need to make cycling more fashionable and at the same time provide an environment where people feel safe to cycle.
Another key takeaway from the report is that while major investments will be required to provide the physical infrastructure to make cycling and walking safer and more attractive for more people, mass adoption of cycling will generate significant cost savings and returns through improved health outcomes. , also promotes local economic development. Bicycle-related industries provide employment opportunities in the manufacturing and retailing of bicycles and parts, including sales, repair, and other related services including general micromobility programs and bicycle tourism.
A well-coordinated approach involving a broad cross-section of stakeholders, including national, state, local governments and city councils, development finance institutions, NGOs and donor agencies, and the wider private sector, will be required to realize the full potential of the benefits to be achieved. may result from the mass adoption of cycling. To start this conversation in Harare, Zimbabwe, last month the City of Harare organized a round table on the topic of “The Future of Cycling in Harare” as part of Harare Bike Day.
The round table meeting was organized with various stakeholders promoting cycling in the city. These include:
- Bicycles 4Zim
- World Terrain Cycling
- Buffalo Bicycles
- JM Busha54
- Road Safe Zimbabwe
- Clean and Green
- City of Munich (Landeshauptstadt München)
- German Development Agency GIZ
- Embassy of the Netherlands
Several key stakeholders were also present at the round table. These include Kuva, Safeguard and several other tech companies. The roundtable was well attended by major organizations in advertising, bicycle-dependent businesses, environment-focused businesses, finance, healthcare, logistics, mapping and smart technologies, as well as Harare’s cycling enthusiasts.
The round table meeting was held in the Chambers Room at Harare City Council City Hall. The meeting was moderated by Judith Mujegu, Interim Town Planner for the City of Harare. One of the presenters, Jenna Hutchings, summarized some of the key benefits of switching to cycling, saying “Cycling (as well as saving the planet) is vital for physical health, mental health and vitality by giving yourself regular exercise and time”.
Jenna Hutchings, a citizen of Harare, in her presentation titled “”.Co-creating a sustainable Harare,” focused on the importance of bicycles around a fair transportation system and circular economy, where the bicycle is the perfect tool to directly and indirectly target the Sustainable Development Goals. Conservation of the natural environment must be addressed in tandem, and this can be achieved by mapping existing routes while incorporating sensitive ecosystems into the design of enhanced active mobility routes with an enhanced public transport system.
Sam Nyaude of the Road Safety Zimbabwe Trust gave a presentation on the Global Action Plan for the Road Safety Decade, stressing that cycling infrastructure has been neglected in urban planning in our big cities where routes are prioritized for cars rather than people. This focus has been dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians as roads become accessible to these users. Feedback from all participants was positive, with a will to change the status quo through a coordinated approach.
Some of the other notable performances were:
- The City of Harare wants to create a cycling master plan for the city.
- The city has cooperation with the city of Munich.
- The pilots will screen students at the University of Zimbabwe and Mt Pleasant High School in the Mt Pleasant area of Harare.
- Critical need to map potential routes for bike lanes and trails. One of the low-hanging fruits is to have large groups go through surplus lawns and other areas to separate paths that show where the demand is.
Getting the conversation going is always a good start. It is good to see that some pilot projects are already being explored. I’m a big fan of micromobility and will continue to follow these developments closely.
Do you value CleanTechnica’s originality and clean tech news? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Tech or Ambassador, or a Patron on Patreon.