In the spirit of overcoming the crisis, and after a two-month break, the citizens’ initiative Banja Luka Critical Mass (BKM) in cooperation with the Centre for the Environment continues on Friday, May 29th, with regular monthly rides.
This time, according to the existing situation and the risks that are still present, and due to item 2 of the decision of the Republic Staff for Emergency Situations number 35-6 / 20 from 14.5.2020. which prohibits gatherings of more than 50 citizens – the ride will take place as follows:
– departure time is on Friday, May 29th at 7 pm
– place of departure and route are not defined (everyone defines them for themselves, everyone participates in the ride individually or in small self-organised groups)
– the distance and duration of the ride are also arbitrary, but the recommended duration is from 40 minutes to one hour to make the effect of the simultaneous presence of cyclists greater
– at the end of the ride, it is desirable that participants send their route (either descriptive or as a gpx file) and a couple of photos from the ride, and some observations
– after receiving the information, BKM will publish a map with all the drawn routes, as well as photos from the ride
All participants are asked to behave responsibly, not endanger others and themselves, and respect traffic regulations.
In addition to the above, the reason for maintaining this type of ride is the increased number of cyclists at any time every day, both due to the beginning of the season and better weather conditions, as well as due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus. Given that, through the simultaneous appearance of a large number of cyclists on the streets of our city, the need for urgent temporary (with a tendency to become permanent) measures that will enable quicker recovery from this crisis, but also lay the foundation for improving non-motorised traffic in the future.
The most important interim measures that should be implemented without delay are:
– Temporary widening of sidewalks – if the pedestrian paths are too narrow (and further narrowed by numerous waste bins and/or cafe terraces), it is necessary to expand them to a part of the road surface with special markings on them
– Establishment of temporary bicycle lanes on multi-lane roads (“Pop Up Bike Lanes” as already established, for example, in Budapest and Berlin) that enable safer movement and encourage new cyclists to find safe routes through the city
– Relocation of bicycle traffic to roads in streets too narrow for separated traffic. The presence of a larger number of cyclists on the road should be emphasised by additional signals and speed limits
– Establishment of streets for bicycle and pedestrian traffic or calm traffic zones: conversion of selected roads into zones with significantly reduced motorised traffic (for tenants only). Temporary traffic calming also helps relieve parks from the pressure of large numbers of people and allow movement without the risk of infection.
– Temporary speed reduction in most residential and non-transit streets to 30km/h and 50km/h in the rest of the city
– Expansion of the network of public city bicycle stations
– Expansion of the bicycle parking network in all locations of public importance, but also in streets with a larger number of residential units and private business facilities