Michael Anderson, STREETSBLOG USA
Here’s one way to understand the story of biking in Sevilla, Spain: It went from having about as much biking as Oklahoma City to having about as much biking as Portland, Oregon.
It did this over the course of four years.
Speaking last week at the PlacesForBikes conference, one of the masterminds of that transition — which is only now becoming widely known in the United States — filled in some of the gaps in that story.
Manuel Calvo had spent years in Sevilla bicycling activism and was working as a sustainability consultant when he landed the contract to plan a protected bike lane network for his city. The result was the Plan de la Bicicleta de Sevilla, mapping the fully connected protected bike lane network that would make Sevilla’s success possible.
But as Calvo explained in his keynote Wednesday and an interview afterward, the story might not have played out that way.
Here are some things for U.S. bike believers to learn from Calvo’s account:
1) Driving had been rising sharply in Sevilla for years before 2007
2) Politicians’ support for a major biking investment came from a single poll
3) The network was built so fast because leaders saw a chance to deliver it within a single election cycle
4) Sevilla created its network by repurposing 5,000 on-street parking spaces
5) Bike lane designs were shaped by public input – but only after officials made clear that doing nothing was not an option
6) Once the network was built, its benefits were obvious
Read the complete article at https://usa.streetsblog.org/2018/05/07/six-secrets-from-the-planner-of-sevillas-lightning-bike-network/#new_tab