It is time that the merits of travelling by bicycle be fully recognised, said advocacy group Pro Velo Switzerland in a statement before the first World Bicycle Day on June 3.
Two hundred years after its invention, the bicycle has become not only a cheap and efficient form of transport but also a tool for social emancipation and economic development, according to Pro Velo Switzerland. And now it is becoming an important factor for sustainable development, it says.
World Bicycle Dayexternal link was approved on April 12, 2018 as an official United Nations day of awareness about the multiple societal benefits of using the bicycle for transport and leisure.
The Swiss people will have a chance to vote this September 23 on a proposal to create a national network of cycle paths in Switzerland.
This comes after Pro Velo launched an initiative demanding that the promotion of cycling be written into the Swiss constitution in the part dealing with paths and pedestrian walkways. But the Federal Council ended up presenting a counter-proposal, which supports the principle but does not impose compulsory requirements on the communes and cantons. Pro Velo subsequently agreed to withdraw its initiative.
While several European countries have developed strategies to promote cycling, Switzerland now has the possibility to support the cantons in planning and building cycle paths, says Pro Velo.
The bicycle is an answer to many of today’s problems, says the group’s president Matthias Aebischer, since it has many advantages and very few disadvantages.