Barcelona is working to improve air quality and city residents’ quality of life, and is therefore committing to healthier mobility by emphasising more sustainable modes of transport, such as getting about on foot, using public transport or by bicycle.
In 2015, Barcelona launched the “Bicycle Strategy for Barcelona” government measure, which encouraged increased bicycle use as a habitual mode of urban transport, with actions such as enlarging and improving the cycling infrastructure, improving signage to guarantee safer journeys, and actions to ensure harmonious co-existence with other people using the public highway, both pedestrians and other road vehicles.
Bicycles are an alternative way of getting around the city, and the most efficient means of transport in terms of energy (the energy required for transporting one person). They are the healthiest, most practical and sustainable way of getting around: they do not emit fumes, make noise, or consume fossil fuels, and they contribute to using the streets as spaces for city residents to co-exist harmoniously.
However, it is important to note that the bicycle is one more vehicle, and as such, it must be ridden with caution and respect for the rules of the road.
If you travel by bicycle, remember:
To enjoy safer travel
The bicycle is a safe vehicle that helps to reduce the number of car accidents, because drivers are more careful about their speed. But don’t forget: ride with caution and watch out for other road users.
Getting about with more advantages
Travelling by bicycle is easier than using other modes of transport. Did you know that short and medium-length journeys in the city are quicker by bicycle than by car? Various door-to-door competitions with the city centre as the final destination have proved that, in general, bicycles are the quickest means of transport. As well as being quicker over shorter distances, they are ideal for combining with public transport.
Besides saving travel time, you save money. The costs of travelling by bicycle are nothing like those of a car or a motorbike. And the energy costs involved in building a bicycle are much lower, too.
To be more sustainable
Bicycles are a key factor in reducing environmental and noise pollution in cities. And they are also the most efficient mode of transport in energy terms: for transporting one person over a distance of 1 kilometre, a bicycle uses 12 times less energy than a car, even if that car is full. It uses 50 times less than a car with only one occupant.
To enjoy more space
A cyclist takes up 5 times less space than a car driver, whether moving or stationary. This information has profound implications in terms of the well-being of city residents, who can enjoy quieter, more peaceful spaces, safely and without noise.
To get fit
Cycling is one of the healthiest types of exercise, because you need to use large groups of muscles. Regular cycling helps to reduce your heart rate and respiratory rate at rest. It also helps to prevent coronary diseases, high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.