There were campaigns about the benefits of the development of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure as well as public transport in thousands of European cities from 16th to 22nd September. The events drew attention to the need of reducing use of individual cars. Ukrainian cities did not stand aside and took part in European Mobility Week.

Kyiv Cyclists’ Association (KCA) joined the celebration of European Mobility Week in Ukraine a sixth time. The Association organized a range of campaigns such as ‘Car-Free Days’ – this year it was cycling excursion on Podil, cycling location on PARKing Day on Bessarabka, and the autumn day ‘Bike to Work’, which was held this time on the World’s Car-Free Day. Also on September 22nd at the Independence Square, Kyiv Cyclists’ Association awarded the winners of a contest for Kyiv’s bike-friendly employers ‘Bike office 2016’. ‘Car-Free Days’ were held as part of European Mobility Week. Its slogan this year is “Smart and sustainable mobility – an investment for Europe”.

Bike to Work Car-Free Day 2016

Photo: Olexii Mykulsky

Car-Free Days together with Kyiv Cyclists’ Association

Press breakfast for media about the launch of EMW (September 16th, 08:30-09:00, Kontraktova square).

Press breakfast gave a media-start for European Mobility Week events in Kyiv. During the press breakfast, the European Mobility Week Charter was signed, by which Kyiv officially confirmed its participation and plans to develop a modern system of sustainable urban mobility. Under the authority of Kyiv City State Administration, Bessarabian driveway became a pedestrian precinct as an experiment.

European Mobility Week Charter was signed in Kyiv in 2016

Photo: Viktoria Sapata

Development of cycling infrastructure is beneficial to the city and its residents for several reasons. Creating the conditions for bicycles as alternative transport provides quick and money-saving movement from point A to point B; also it effectively complements public transport and relieves the city of traffic jams and smog. That is why it is so important for the City Council next year to approve the City Cycling Concept, which is being developed by order of Kyiv City Council’, Ksenia Semenova, a counsellor of City Mayor on development of cycling infrastructure said.

Cycling excursion ‘Unknown Podil’ (September 16th, 2016, 19:00 – Kyiv, Podil)

The cycling excursion acquainted Kyiv dwellers with Podil and showed this historic district of Ukrainian capital from another angle.

Cycling excursion in Kyiv  during European Mobility Week 2016

Photo: Vitaliy Levyshchenko

Meeting #КрутиПедаліКиїв (#CycleKyiv): On the myth of cycling in Berlin – September 16th, 19:00-20:00 – Velocity BAR

At the meeting #CycleKyiv on September 16th, German cycling activists have told their Kyiv’s colleagues about problems of cycling in Berlin, that are very familiar to less developed cycling cities such as Kyiv: lack of cycling infrastructure, aggressive drivers on roads and parked cars on the bike paths. German cycling activist Michael Schulte told a history of a public initiative to organise a cycling referendum for a new law to improve conditions for development of cycling in the capital of Germany.

Volksentscheid Fahrrad in Kyiv 2016Photo: Peter Koller

PARKing Day in Kyiv – September 17th 2016, 10:00-20:00 – Kyiv, Bessarabian driveway

During campaign ‘Car-Free Days’, Kyiv Cyclists’ Association set up a bright lounge area on Bessarabka with its own festival cycle point, held a Cycling School on safety cycling on roads and a workshop on bike service. All guests of the cycling campaign had an opportunity to take advantage of free bike share and to pedal a real cycling generator unit from KINO PROSTO NEBA (‘CINEMA OUTDOORS’). ‘Kyiv can be another one, no doubt! We can only wish to our city wise and committed officials, socially responsible businessmen and proactive residents, because Kyiv truly deserves it all!’ Anastasia Makarenko, the coordinator of cycling location on PARKing Day and executive director of Kyiv Cyclists’ Association said.

PARKing Day in Kyiv 2016

Photo: Daryna Pyrogova

Bike to Work’ (Car-Free Day) – September 22nd 2016, 8:00-10:00 – Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square)

On this day, different Kyiv residents came by bike to Maidan (Independence Square) to meet and have breakfast together and then to go to their works or studies. As part of the meeting, there was an award ceremony for the contest ‘Bike Office 2016’, by which Kyiv Cyclists’ Association encourages employers to equip cycling facilities for their employees to get to work by bikes. The winner of the contest for the most comfortable conditions for the staff became EVO.company. ‘Cycling facilities in offices is an investment in business development because the benefits for employers are much greater than the costs. In bike-friendly companies, employees are healthier, more productive and more punctual. In addition, bicycle is a convenient and inexpensive way to create a positive image of the company and loyalty of employees’, Kyiv Cyclists’ Association believes.

Autumn Bike to Work in Kyiv 2016

Photo: Olexii Mykulsky

Cars-Free Days’ during the European Mobility Week in Kyiv ended up on September 22nd with a meeting of the project #КрутиПедаліКиїв (#CycleKyiv) that had been launched by Kyiv Cyclists’ Association this autumn. The topic of the lecture given by Kyiv cycling advocate Mykola Vohnyk was “History of bike: 199 years on two wheels”. Next year bike will be 200 years old, so the history of this mode of transport is old and full of interesting facts; and everyone who visited the lecture could know them.

The partners of Kyiv Cyclists’ Association in organization of ‘Car-Free Days’ were bike-shops Veliki.ua, BikeMaster, “Помаранчевий ровер” (“Orange Bike”) and bike share NextBike. The event was supported by the European Union under the project “Urban cycling development for public benefit”.

‘Car-Free Day’ together with Kyiv Cyclists’ Association 2016

Design: Romana Ruban

Webinar with Kyiv Cyclists’ Association: Cycling (r)evolution in Ukraine

During European Mobility Week on September 20th, Kyiv Cyclists’ Association took part in an international webinar Cycling (r)evolutions: experience of Ukraine and Brazil organized by CAPSUT (Capacity Building for Sustainable Urban Transport). The coordinator of KCA in Kyiv and Kyiv Mayor’s counsellor on development of cycling infrastructure Ksenia Semenova told how the relationship between Kyiv Cyclists’ Association and Kyiv city evolved over time and how it materialized in planning of the cycling infrastructure. During the webinar, they discussed an important role of NGOs in Ukraine at level of cities and country, including ways to promote the principles of design of cycling infrastructure.

European Mobility Week in Kyiv and other cities of Ukraine

Organizers of EMW in Kyiv this year were non-governmental organizations and activists (Kyiv Cyclists’ Association, Eco-centre, Kyiv Council of Urban Planning and others) with the support of local authorities.

As part of Mobility Week in Kyiv, Ecocentre organised a public campaign ‘Clear the lane for public transport!’ There are 14 streets with lanes for public transport in the capital of Ukraine. But because of the lack of driving culture and inadequate control by the police on the roads, traffic regulations are systematically violated, leading to even more congestion on the roads. Activists organised public “raids” on public transport lanes in Kyiv, and on 21st September they protested near Kyiv City Council on Khreshchatyk Street with the requirement to provide free lanes.

NGO World of Education (Svit Osvit) brought the ideas of ​​European Mobility Week to Ukrainian pupils initiating thematic campaigns with the children.

European Mobility Week in Ukrainian schools

Photo: Tetyana Sporynina

The full programme of events during the European Mobility Week in Kyiv you can find at www.mobilityweek.org.ua

European Mobility Week 2016

Not only Kyiv took part in the European Mobility Week in Ukraine. 18 Ukrainian cities and villages officially registered in it (Velykyi Bereznyi, Vodytsia, Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kalush, Kyiv, Kosivska Poliana, Myrhorod, Mukacheve, Pavlograd, Perechyn, Poltava, Rakhiv, Ternopil, Sokyrnytsia, Uzhhorod, Kharkiv, Chernivtsi and others). There were massive events on EMW in Kharkiv, although the city only joined the event for the second time. The city held a series of events, such as a fair of urban projects ‘Dandelion’, where local community initiatives presented their advocacy campaigns for safe and sustainable transport; a campaign ‘In subway with eyes closed’, autumn Bicycle Day, a campaign ‘Bike to work’, and the first parklet – a mini-garden and recreation area that extended pavement on the roadway, occupying parking spaces for pedestrians.

In Odesa, European Mobility Week this year officially wasn’t conducted, but at the weekend on 17th-18th September, Zhukov Lane was blocked for cars. Usually being a parked lane, it was transformed into a comfortable pedestrian space. ‘For one day the street was crossed by about 6500 people in eight hours. This is compared to 35 cars on this street. After a car, which had been standing on the street for almost a year, became an art installation suddenly the owner was found. Many citizens asked to continue the experiment for one more week and anxiously asked “What is going to be next?” Profit of almost all commerce increased by a third and that’s just one day’, one of the event’s organizers Kostiantin Yemelyanov from Urban Inst said.

Odessa_occupy_zhukova

Photo: Kostiantin Yemelyanov

In interesting and diverse ways European Mobility Week was celebrated in Ivano-Frankivsk, Poltava, Ternopil, Uzhhorod and other cities of Ukraine.

The topic of European Mobility Week in 2016, which is celebrated in more than 5 thousand European cities, is “Smart and sustainable mobility – an investment for Europe.” Reducing of cost of construction and maintenance of transport infrastructure, reducing of the costs on health care and the environmental protection, positive impact on tourism sector and business, the increase in retail trade and the growing cost of real estate in attractive areas – these are the benefits of cycling development today in Berlin and Krakow, Dublin and Barcelona, ​​Paris and New York. In addition, reducing the use of motor vehicles in cities improves air quality and stimulates our physical activity, that can save money in health care.

Translated by Bogdan Derkach, a volunteer of Kyiv Cyclists’ Association

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