Cape Town is one of many congested cities across the globe that wants to transform the daily commute into one that is cheaper, greener and more efficient.
Already the Mothercity is lined with 450 km of cycle lanes, and the local government is building more in order to reach its goal of having at least 8% of the city’s workforce go to work on bicycles by 2032. Currently the percentage is 1%.
Transport for Cape Town aims to soon release a draft proposal for alternative methods of cultivating a cycle culture in Cape Town, in which cycling is considered a method of travel rather than merely a form of recreation. Such a culture can have economic boons that include more opportunities for bike manufacturing plants, bike-share systems, and greater interest in innovating the cycle industry.
At the Mobility Indaba in early October cycling was one of the key topics, and experts from The Netherlands – renowned for its cycling culture – were there to discuss sustainable mobility plans specific to the Cape Town terrain. Such plans included encouraging the use of non-motorised transport over private transport for school and work commutes.
As Mayoral Committee Member for Transport Brett Herron said, “One of the biggest challenges we are currently facing is traffic congestion. New roads alone will not solve this challenge. We need residents to use bicycles for shorter trips and we need our motorists to accept cycling as a legitimate mode of transport.”
Herron also pointed out the benefits of clearer roads and more accessible cycling routes to Cape Town’s tourism industry, allowing tourists to access city hotspots on bikes more safely and in a way that is less taxing on the environment.