It's just been the World Bicycle Day but this year we have not been able to claim its use on the streets, as on other occasions.

Although the environments are now smoke-free, the skies cleaner than ever and the scenery is unbeatable, they exist restrictions on two-wheeled vehicles, at least in Spain.

In the early days of this COVID-19 crisis there was a lot of confusion, and although the state of alarm allowed certain trips such as going to work, hospital or supermarket, the reality was that the use of the bicycle was under constant suspicion.


The Bicycle is not just a toy

In this time of confinement the controversy has accompanied bicycles, since they are associated with the idea that they are only for sports or leisure use and not a means of transport. There have been several known cases which have proved controversial and which have resulted in a fine.

On the other hand, depending on how and where, we can use our bicycles. The measures of the State Of Alarm Decree allows individual mobility for specific activities and that, shortly, they are going to be expanded.

The planet needs bicycles

Bicycles are the ideal transport in COVID-19 times

Fernando Simón, Director of the Health Alerts and Emergencies Coordination Center, in his last appearance he left open the possibility of allowing sports on the street after Pedro Sanchez it referred to this in its latest communiqué.

It is still an issue that needs to be polished before it becomes effective, and it is obviously closely related to the responsible behaviour of citizens, to perform sport in solitude and always avoiding the risks of transmission.

Bikes naturally allow social distance, which is why some countries have created temporary bike lane routes to use in this crisis, but it seems that we have not agreed on the measures to be taken anywhere in the world, since the rules change according to the country and even according to the city.

Bicycles are the ideal transport in COVID-19 times

The measures taken in Europe for the use of bicycles

France, for example, it has already adapted city streets with separation barriers for bikes to delimit a wider lane on the roadway during the 40-day public transport strike. They are now studying that this tactical urbanism can be expanded and become part of the daily life of large cities after the coronavirus passes.

The Minister of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, applauds the French decision and assures that it will study the Gallic measure of taking advantage of the circumstances to change the mobility model with other ministers and local and regional governments.

In Europe, there are countries where the bicycle is fully integrated in a representative way in people's lives, countries such as Belgium, Holland or Germany, which during this situation, have had to do nothing but recommend its use and expand the areas enabled for it.

A Portugal, this crisis has coincided with the celebration of Lisbon as European Green City 2020. Therefore, it already had a plan consisting of extending from 60 to 200 kilometers of bike lane and will continue when everything ends with these works.

Germany it is another country that has temporarily doubled the width of its lanes by even painting a yellow stripe for it. In cities like Milan or New York, being two nuclei where the pandemic has attacked the strongest, they have never stopped using the public bicycle services because they consider them precisely suitable for this situation.

Reducing pollution in cities

The demonstrated decrease in pollution in all cities due to traffic restrictions puts on the table the possibility of another, progressive and coherent urban order.

Maybe it would be time to abandon the focus car driver and look for alternative solutions that we now know possible and effective.