BICY originated by the will of local, regional authorities & research bodies involved to affirm a softer and sustainable model of mobility in Central Europe, centred on diffusion of bicycle. In fact, unsustainable traffic congestion and air pollution are a top preoccupation for a large part of European citizens (many of them spend years of their life in daily traffic jams), mainly in CE where mobility is often associated with a growing private motorisation.
Considering that approximately 80 per cent of all urban trips are for distance by less than 5 kilometres, it is clear that a wide and extensive use of bicycles would give an enormous contribution to reducing car traffic congestion, pollution and hence the emission of CO2 (caused by one/fifth in EU by road traffic), with great positive effects on health & combating climate change. In other words, cycling mobility (together with walking and in combination with public transport) should be promoted as the most sustainable, ecological, and, under certain conditions, healthiest and safest way of mobility.
Based on the assumption that many urban problems including traffic congestion, air and noise pollution could be solved through the promotion of bicycle traffic, the CENTRAL EUROPE project BICY – Cities and Regions of Bicycles aims to do just that: to promote everyday cycling.
Since its start in February 2010 BICY, with partners from 11 regions of 8 Central Europe countries, has stimulated positive processes in public institutions & areas involved and promoted a circulation of experience (and hence a convergence) of cycling culture between the front runner cities Ferrara & Graz and the new comers.
The BICY project relies on employing the right mix between study visits, research, training seminars with qualified experts to share theoretical as well as practical know-how amongst project partners, stakeholders and decision makers. As a result of this continuous mutual learning process the project partners are in the process of developing their regional/local cycling strategies. Based on these strategies as well as on common indicators the University of Bologna is elaborating a transnational cycling strategy with recommendations on how to promote cycling in Central Europe.In total more than 10.000 questionnaires have been analysed for this. The potential for cycling is high, even in forerunner cities like Ferrara and Graz, as every second car trip in urban areas is shorter than 5 km and therefore could be done by bike.
As save bicycle parking is an important issue for many partners and a measure that helps to verifiably promote cycling, a brochure on bicycle parking and theft prevention has been produced and translated in 7 European languages. It can be downloaded for free on the project website: www.bicy.it.
Another important tool that has been developed and translated into 8 languages is the brochure "20 good reasons for cycling". It is meant for stakeholders and decision makers and showcases the advantages of cycling and backs up positive arguments for cycling with facts and figures.
On the website www.bicy.it, visitors can find interesting news and relevant information as well as a series of brochures developed, updated and produced during the project. The brochure “Bicycle parking and theft prevention” is available in 7 languages and the brochure “20 good reasons for cycling” is even available in 8 languages.
In addition, cycling maps are available of almost all partner locations. Currently the partners are involved in the development of pilot projects, that include innovative services like the installation of bicycle counters in Ferrara, intermodal solutions for bike and rail through parking facilities in Ravenna, a hotel rental bike system with Pedelecs in Graz, a bicycle rental system in Velenje and video and alarm equipment for safe bicycle parking in Budaörs. Educational activities targeted at children will support the sustainability of the action.