An IDB program will probably benefit areas destined to cyclists


Mario Tourinho Cycle-path

The bicycle paths in Curitiba will pass through a revitalization program next semester. The network is no longer a part of the urban infrastructure department from the Urban Research and Planning Institute of Curitiba (Ippuc) and belongs now to sector of transportation – a strategy born in consequence of a demand from the Urban Mobility Plan (PlanMob) of Curitiba and Metropolitan Region, a program that is going to be installed in one year period financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). One of the ideas is the incentive to healthy and non pollutant means of transportation, such as bicycles.

Three years ago, Ippuc considered the possibility of restoring the bicycle paths for the first time and came even to elaborate the preliminary plans. The extent of the bicycle paths network is over 160 Km, the largest one in Brazil, estimated in lousy 200 Km. The engineer Clever Ubiratan Teixeira de Almeira, special projects advisor for Ippuc explains that the tendency isn’t to disable parts of the network, but to widen it. One of the projects contemplated by the city hall is an 8 Km long bicycle path in the South Contour parallel to Juscelino Kubitschek Avenue. “There is a demand from the workers in the area”, explains Clever.

Estimates for the year 2000 showed 10.7 thousand bicycle paths users during the week and 15.6 thousand on Saturday and Sundays. Since then, the capital gained 200 thousand new habitants, so it’s likely that the bicycle paths have around 18 thousand users in the weekends, close to 1% of the city population. A performance far from the ideal, considering the urgent need to decrease the numbers of automobiles in the streets.

029-maldeodoroTo begin to use the bicycle paths demands great effort from the cyclist or the pedestrian. In the poor areas of the city the conservation and signalization of the network is good. However, downtown and close to the parks, like Barigui, the conditions are similar, although the traffic shaped to the automobiles gives no way to the cyclists. In the most popular neighborhoods it’s common to find poorly signalized parts of the bicycle paths, which makes it hard to the first time travelers. There are also parts of the bicycle paths squeezed in the sidewalks, full of irregular bits, as it is in at Antônio Escorsin Street, in São Braz.

Translator’s notes:

  • The cycle-paths were built in the 70’s with recreational purposes only. Until today (March/2008), the revitalization process didn’t take place.
  • According to an Ippuc research, the amount of pedestrians using the cycle-paths are higher than cyclists. There aren’t any exclusive cycle-paths in Curitiba.
  • Curitiba is no longer the city with the largest network in Brazil.
  • Curitiba is nowadays the most motorized city in the Country.
  • For more information see our map with dozens of cycle-path photos.

Originally published at Gazeta do Povo – Caderno Paraná.

See portuguese version