In Palermo, just over one in a hundred people (1.5%) travels by bicycle. Yet from 2011 to 2020 the cycle path system went from 21 to 50 kilometers, with an increase of about 133%.
To disseminate the data on the day when World Bicycle Day is celebrated (chosen in 2018 by the United Nations as a symbol of sustainable human progress) is the municipal administration, which promises an extension of the cycle path network: “We want to encourage movement on two wheels – says Giusto Catania, municipal councilor for Mobility – by implementing cycle infrastructures on the one hand and periodically making the spaces dedicated to cycle mobility safe on the other “.
“In Palermo – continues Catania – the bicycle is the undisputed protagonist in the choices and vision of the municipal administration for the city that will come from now to 2030”. Beyond the rhetoric, even today, soft mobility is not adequately supported by suitable routes and bike parking is almost non-existent.
The interventions carried out on the urban fabric, to allow bicycles to circulate at a safe distance from cars, are poorly integrated into a road system “heavy” by traffic. The bumpy road surface makes cyclists’ movements treacherous. Not to mention those motorists who can’t stand two wheels and often invade the cycle paths. In fact, accidents between cars and bicycles often occur. Furthermore, along the cycle path that connects via Praga to via Dante, we did not have the “courage” to sacrifice the blue stripes (drawn alongside): a choice that further reduced the carriageway, engulfing traffic in some sections.
In short, there is still a lot to do. Also from a cultural point of view. And the “patches” here and there are not enough. We need an overall project. A little bit what the Municipality would like to do with the Pums (Urban Sustainable Mobility Plan), which provides – as part of the construction of the new tram system – the development of cycle paths along the ACDEG lines, for a total of about 42 kilometers , in addition to the construction of 32 car parks and 22 new bike-sharing stalls.