The recovery from CVID-19 presents many challenges; can bicycles help? In recent months, European member countries of the United Nations have been working on ways to make mobility safer, healthier, and more sustainable post-COVID-19.
World Bicycle Day is a day established by the United Nations General Assembly in recognition of the bicycle’s unique traits, longevity, and versatility. According to the World Health Organization, the bicycle is a cost-effective, reliable, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation, which promotes good health while reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes, and sometimes even death.
By promoting bike riding, the United Nations encourages its members to promote a culture of cycling and organize initiatives such as national and local walks, as well as make it safer and easier for people to ride their bikes.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) believes the lifting of lockdowns in many countries across Europe is an opportunity to restart the transport sector in a manner that leads to a more efficient, greener system. According to the report, “business as usual must be replaced with a ‘new normal. Thus, celebrating World Bicycle day will motivate all to use more bicycles than other means of transport.
As the noise level decreased, people in the city were able to enjoy blue skies and birdsong due to the clean air as the lockdown ended. As reported by the European Commission, the air quality in Barcelona dropped by 60 percent, and similar improvements have been realized in other large European cities such as Milan, London, and Paris.
As a result of crowded mass transit systems and health authorities’ advice for physical distance, public transportation use has fallen significantly, with more people choosing to walk or ride bicycles instead. A number of cities, including Milan, Geneva, Brussels, and London, are implementing flexible bike lanes to address these trends.
International Mother Earth Day was observed on April 22. In his message, UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls for a post-pandemic green recovery that includes an end to fossil fuel subsidies.
Investing in Pedestrians and Cyclists
Investment in pedestrians and cyclists – who often make up the majority of citizens in a city – can reduce poverty, help protect the environment, and save lives, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Happy World Bicycle Day to all.