Vitoria: What Criteria You Choose To Prohibit?

Any new problems in Vitoria?

Before you begin, as I do not live in Vitoria and do not know, I have to note that this view is thrown away. I have not taken the pulse of the center of this city everything I like, and I can not know what they think their inhabitants of the “soft” traffic ban cycling on one of the pedestrian streets which recently entered into force with the new cyclist ordinance. I am sure that in Bizikleteroak, in other associations or forums any bike shop of over there you will find reviews more closely. And the best start to go understanding what happens would read the entire ordinance on the page of City Hall.

Anyway, we have discussed here the characteristics of cycling accidents in Vitoria, such as analyzing the City Council.

The news in El Correo.

The ordinance proposes many quite interesting things, such as restriction of movement Cycling on sidewalks, permission to travel on certain tramlines, the ability to go against the grain in some streets or generalization of the lines ahead detention at stoplights . If possible, we will detail this information in another entry. But what has made much noise is the “soft” call prohibition and soft because at the moment is to inform and not to punish. The thing has created so much noise that the Mayor of Vitoria himself has sent open letter to the bikers to explain his motives.

What criterion rests the Vitoria to reach this decision? Who have you consulted? Does it make sense to do it? Let ‘s see.

The problem of coexistence between pedestrians and cyclists is not new, of course. In Vitoria own, a band of 1893 already prohibited the circulation of “cycles” due to “continuing claims” that came to the Mayor for accidents caused. And in the very cyclist Netherlands Similar problems also exist. Usually, any cyclist is pedestrian before, and in case of discrepancy should make things easier for pedestrians. It is, or should be, the king of the city.

The Dutch Fietsberaad -a nothing suspicious organization of being “anticiclista” – commissioned a study in 2004 to determine clear criteria when and under what conditions can coexist cyclists and pedestrians in free zones motor vehicles. Because we will all agree that when much pedestrian traffic, cycling is circulated, and sometimes even impossible complicated.

You start by setting a criterion of pedestrian density, which is the number of pedestrians passing by a linear meter street in an hour. And the conclusions reached, other than to indicate that cyclists themselves choose alternative routes when busy pedestrian agglomeration, are simple: if a threshold is exceeded 100 per linear meter pedestrian street and time, begins to appear discomfort for pedestrians. Between 160 and 200, recommend establishing separate areas for pedestrians and cyclists within the area without motor vehicles.  And above 200, the Fietsberaad not viable to coexistence between pedestrians and cyclists.

In Vitoria there since 2007 an Observatory of the rechargeable bike lighting, managed by Bizikleteroak half with the Center for Environmental Studies financed by the City Council. Before confirming the new ordinance, as indicated by the CEA itself in its newsletter, multiple meetings with the Observatory and the Forum of the bike performed, he studied the baseline, made measurements of pedestrian density in the downtown streets and they studied the alternative routes that could take cyclists. So the measure has been taken, rare in these parts, judiciously and after hearing the parties.

The CEA has measured the pedestrian flow at various points of the pedestrian center of Vitoria. In almost all cases, the observed number was above 200 pedestrians / meter / hour mentioned and Saturdays exceeded 500 and 600 at some points much traffic.  If you can reproach something to this measurement is that they have only done four observations (for two weekdays and two Saturdays in June and November 2013). However and from afar it seems valid measurement. What more can we ask? It’s a decision consistent.

You can argue if the schedule chosen criterion is reasonable, but I see it as an inevitable evil. The alternative is to have some pedestrian counting system for opening / closing the circulation of bikes, which is expensive and complicated, or leave the subjective judgment of the cyclist, it seems that has not worked so far.

That said, I think the City fits ask you a question: what are the alternative routes proposed cyclists? People of Bizikleteroak does not seem to have alternatives ready and clear to replace the passage through pedestrian areas, and ultimately after they are residing there. They know something.

And there is another question, more serious and targeted riders protesting: Why do some people insist on wanting circular bike for those areas when you were crowded with pedestrians Because I sincerely believe that had there been no complaints in this regard, not It would need to incorporate this prohibition to the ordinance.

I hope that gradually the common sense thing – that, according Eneko A., cyclists around here can not exist – go shooting and that the ban will end up lifting, being unnecessary so obvious.