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18 August 2016

Local Bike Activists are Making Avdiivka a more Sustainable and Safe City

"Why do you think I was so angry ... because I did not have a bicycle," - said a famous cartoon character. Applying this phrase to the current situation in Avdiivka in the Donetsk region, one can say that in recent months the city has advanced significantly on the path to a happy community. 

After the implementation of the first project to develop the city’s cycling infrastructure, many local residents have more opportunities to use bicycles - as during July and August this year bicycle parkings were installed near most of Avdiivka’s social facilities, as well as some retail and commercial facilities.

The idea of ​​creating a cycling infrastructure Avdiivka was born a year ago among local bike movement activists and caring citizens. They prepared a project proposal and submitted it to the competition "City with their hands," which is annually organized by the local coke plant. The project involved the creation of a network of bicycle lanes bike parkings. The project idea was that after returning to normal peaceful life, Avdiivka should be a green, friendly to all and environmentally sustainable community. The relative stabilization of the the situation with the shelling of the city and the emergence of a large number of road cyclists was an opportunity to build in the city a network of bicycle parkings,  making transportation around the city by bike a safer and more comfortable experience.

The plan of the future cycling infrastructure, including the list of social and commercial facilities that were to be in the primary list for installation of the new parkings was coordinated with local authorities and relevant stakeholders. Avdiyivsky Metal Construction Details Plant produced the constructions of bike parkings and activists joined their efforts to install them. Thus, in June and August 2016, 50 parking lots were installed in all operating schools and kindergartens, the city railway station, hospitals and markets etc.

According to volunteers who were installing the parkings, townspeople showed interest in the new architectural forms that decorated the city streets - asking questions, giving suggestions, and often joining other volunteers in installing the constructions. Young people - students of local schools № 6, № 1 and № 4 - were also great helpers and participated in the installation process.

The development of cycling infrastructure and the creation of favorable conditions for the public’s use of this most environmentally sound  and healthy mode of transport, can not be limited to creating a network of bike parkings. The city and its residents (not only cyclists, but also mothers with strollers, people with special needs) all require safe bike paths, comfortable sidewalk ramps. This situation is understood by all, but to start living in a more comfortable city, every one has to make at least a small own input.

Author: Oleksii Savkevych

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