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It's been a good year. An overview of 2018 in cycling

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It's been a good year. An overview of 2018 in cycling
It's been a good year. An overview of 2018 in cycling

This year is coming to an end with the highest ever number of Veturilo city bike rentals. In Warsaw the business has been as usual, with many new cycling infrastructure projects and repairs. During this year, bicycle traffic in the Capital City has grown by more than 25%.

“When I assumed the position of Mayor, I announced that I would follow up the reasonable projects in many areas. One of such areas is cycling. Year after year we record growing numbers of Veturilo city bike rentals. But that’s not the most important. Each year, we’re especially thrilled to see more and more Varsovians choose bicycles as their primary means of transport to and from work or school. Our goal is to maintain this trend,” said Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw.

200 km ready, more ahead
Warsaw has now some 570 km of cycling infrastructure. And as many as 200 km of this have been built or repaired over the last 4 years. This would not be possible if it wasn’t for the determination to push forward year after year. In 2018, more than 50 km have been completed, and another 70 km started. “This was possible largely due to EU funds, with the support of which, under Integrated Territorial Investments, we were able to create cycling paths along such streets as  Radzymińska, Jagiellońska, Wiertnicza and Szaserów,” said Łukasz Puchalski, Director of the Municipal Roads Authority (ZDM) and Mayor’s Plenipotentiary for Bicycle Transport.

A few major projects, including along Puławska, Połczyńska, Żołnierska and Towarowa Streets, are almost finished. Warsaw’s cyclists will be able to use them next year. Along Puławska St. alone, a 16 km-long cycling path is being created. The construction works involved redevelopment of the “Wyścigi” node at the point where Puławska and Gintrowskiego Streets, and Dolina Służewiecka, meet. This was the most impressive cycling project of 2018. Around the node there are now grade-separated ramps and underpasses for easy bicycle access in all directions.

In addition to the main road network, there are also recreational routes being developed. This year, another 3 km were added to the Vistula Riverside Recreation Path, the very well-known and popular path on the right bank of the Vistula. The scenic route for pedestrians and cyclists, running right by the river from the Łazienkowski Bridge up to Fieldorfa St., was built by Warsaw’s Parks and Landscape Authority.

This year’s investments have considerably improved the integrity of the network. With the cycling path along Wiertnicza St. opened for use, the final piece of the 24 km-long northbound/southbound corridor is finally in place. The route starts past the M. Skłodowska-Curie Bridge, and ends in Powsin.
The cycling path network is becoming more and more comfortable to travel, which contributes to increased bicycle traffic. It is estimated that, during the summer season, as much as 7% of all not-on-foot journeys in Warsaw are by bike. Compared to the first half of 2017, bicycle traffic in the corresponding period of 2018 grew by more than 25%!

Veturilo – a thousand rentals per hour
This is largely thanks to city bikes. Veturilo is the leading city bike rental system in Central and Eastern Europe. With 5.2 bike rentals, records were broken already in the previous year. During this season, the previous year’s record was shattered as soon as in September, and the season closed with more than 6.4 million rentals!

Warsaw’s Veturilo Public Bicycle System is constantly being expanded. This year, new stations, or “docks”, have been launched in cooperation with individual City Districts, and in partnership with private organisations. As a result, you can now rent bikes in such districts as Rembertów, which was not possible before. In total, there are now over 370 stations and over 5,300 bikes, including electric bikes, tandem bicycles and children’s bikes.

But these are not all the records that have been broken this year. For the first time ever, there were more than a million rentals in one month. It was in May, when Varsovians used the bike-sharing system more than 1.1 million times! And on Sunday, April 15, a daily record was broken with nearly 50,000 rentals in just 24 hours! During the season, the average rental time was 20 minutes and 24 seconds. This means that in the last season, Warsaw residents spent on Veturilo bikes a total of 2 million hours, which is 250 years!
Veturilo will come back to Warsaw’s streets on 1 March 2019.

Take Venturilo for a ride outside Warsaw
This year, bicycles provided by Nextbike, the Veturilo system operator, could be rented in as many as 6 towns around Warsaw. The largest number of rentals was, of course, recorded for Warsaw, but the other towns with Veturilo-compatible bicycle-sharing schemes also recorded thousands of trips. A compatible system is one that allows users to rent a bicycle in Warsaw and return it in one of the partner towns, or the other way round. Bicycle-sharing systems compatible with Warsaw’s Public Bicycle System can be found in  Konstancin-Jeziorna, Piaseczno, Pruszków, Marki and Otwock. The last two have only been added this year. In total, near Warsaw there are 36 compatible stations/docks with 350 bicycles, and these have already been rented some 42,500 times.