114 cycling activists and experts from 27 cities and 6 countries of Europe participated in the international conference on the development of cycling transport Veloforum 2016 which took place in Kharkiv on October 21–23.
Veloforum 2016 has taken place for the eighth time in Ukraine. Its key topics were:
- National and local cycling policies
- Cycling infrastructure solutions for Ukrainian cities
- Cycling advocacy in Ukraine and abroad
Besides, there were such topics as the cooperation of public and business organisations, legal aspects of cycling etc. You can read the whole Veloforum 2016 program here.
‘The analysis of the Ukrainian regulations shows that they are still not adapted for work with cyclists as traffic participants,’ national coordinator of Kyiv Cyclists’ Association Vadym Denysenko stated. He said that according to Ukrainian traffic law cyclist can use cycling routes, but pedestrians can use them too. When cyclist rides along the road, he/she has to be as right as possible, but not on the bus lane that is the rightmost!
Among reporters there were many cycling activists from different Ukrainian cities as well as the experts from European Union. According to the representative of EU in Ukraine Colombe de Mercey, Ukrainian cycling advocacy movement is stronger organizationally than in many countries of Europe. ‘Ukraine is a huge country where a lot of efforts should be made to perform the tasks assigned by the cycling community. But you have prospects and power as well as a growing influence on the authority. And we will support perspective cycling projects with grants,’ she told.
At the Veloforum there were presentations of sustainable mobility advocacy projects in the Eastern Ukraine, performed by the local activists with support of Kyiv Cyclists’ Association and financed by USAID.
Veloforum participants could see Kharkiv during traditional excursions. This year those were made not only on bicycles but also by buses.
After Veloforum on October 26 City council of Kharkiv has affirmed a concept of cycling transportation and cycling infrastructure development in the city. Veloforum 2017 will be hosted by Mykolaiv that have affirmed its cycling concept lately too.
Veloforum is funded by European Union, Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Office in Ukraine, US Agency of International Development and German Russian Exchange (DRA).
First Ukrainian bike sharing, selling and service network veliki.ua as well as bike sharing system Nextbike are the partners of Veloforum 2016. They have rent bicycles to forum’s participants for excursions for free. General partner of Veloforum 2016 in Kharkiv is Velogen, an information network for cyclists.
Translated by Vedomir Aremikh, a volunteer of Kyiv Cyclists’ Association