Alicante: Alabici Closed, Public Bike Service

Not so long ago we spoke of Alicante PICA as an example of good ideas cycling promotion within the examples facilitated the DGT of Pere Navarro to the municipalities interested in learning about good practices. Well, although the PICA local associations bike will recognize part of success, it seems that has not been enough to save the service public bike Alicante, called Alabici, which closes from 28 March.

Alicante Alabici Closed Public Bike Service1

The official version of the closing speech of declining fertilizer and vandalism rampant to justify the decision, as reported by El Pais.  But it seems that the system design and characteristics of the bikes were not ideal: as indicated Alicante Bike in the same article , bikes were fragile, not carried out a maintenance adequate, there were few stations (also not repaired) and was not properly advertised the service. So, from their point of view, it was impossible to reach the critical mass necessary to maintain, for its poor design. Political sources (Compromis per Alacant) indicate that bike lanes are not interconnected, that the City failed to properly fund the service and tracings of some lanes are not comfortable.

Alicante Alabici Closed Public Bike Service2

Moreover, since the newspaper Information Alicante indicate that the poor financial situation of the City Council in January 2014 caused the resignation of a grant from the Generalitat destined for the same service. So they would weigh many factors, surely.

Alicante Alabici Closed Public Bike Service3

We have already indicated some time it seems preferable not spend anything on infrastructure to do wrong. You  have to plan well and unhurried. If done wrong in a first phase, in the end the cost is doubled (if you have to correct a poor initial performance) or worse, the infrastructure is abandoned and has thrown the money, yours and mine,  fellow taxpayer. Another interesting option is to raise low – budget temporary interventions, test and then decide, as suggested by Màrius Navazo.

Either way, they can organize activities promotion, awareness and education, issues that also promote the use of the bike. Activities with schools as safe school routes, collaboration with companies to go to work by bike with rechargeable bike headlights, repair or guidelines of safe driving (both bikes as respect by car), campaigns for the use of lights … These interventions also they encourage people to evaluate alternatives to the private car. Remember that there are signs that once proven, bike hooks: do you try.

The cycling infrastructure is also needed, but it is necessary that some are met quality standards.  No need to invent anything: in other countries there are things that work. It is easier to copy well what works elsewhere:  paths lanes comfortable and usable bike, bicycle parking and good design in sufficient number and locations, traffic calming in residential areas …

We are not so different from other countries. Here we can also use the bike safely. The problem is that it seems that our politicians do not try to win enough,  or that our society is not requested.