Title: New Group ‘Logroñear en Bici’ Emerges to Preserve Bike Lanes in Logroño
A new group called ‘Logroñear en Bici’ has been formed in Logroño, the capital of La Rioja, to protect the existing bike lanes in the city. Made up of entities such as Logroño en Bici and Ecologistas en Acción, the group aims to prevent the removal or transfer of the bike lanes, as announced by the current government team from Logroño (PP). Pedro Ballesteros, a teacher and spokesperson for Logroñear en Bici, recently defended the bike lanes at a plenary session of the Logroño City Council.
Political Significance of Logroño’s Bike Lane:
The bike lane issue has acquired political significance, particularly during the elections, with the PP making it a focal point of their campaign. Pedro Ballesteros asserts that the PP used this issue to appeal to a certain section of the city’s population, which they believed was discontented. However, the party now finds itself constrained by its promise to reverse the bike lanes.
Focus on Avenida de Portugal and Ignored Controversial Sections:
While much attention has been directed towards Avenida de Portugal, Ballesteros argues that other equally contentious sections, such as Duquesa de la Victoria, have been neglected. He emphasizes that removing a section of the bike lane network would disrupt the entire cycling route, rendering the alternatives unviable. Ballesteros urges the PP to reconsider their decision and warns against compromising the city’s developing cycling network.
Importance of Avenida de Portugal and Comparison to the Entire Axis:
Ballesteros stresses the significance of Avenida de Portugal, explaining that cutting off a part of the bike lane would interrupt its functionality. Moreover, he highlights the lack of feasible alternatives for cyclists. He notes that other proposed routes would be unsafe and impractical, presenting potential hazards to cyclists and pedestrians alike.
Implementation of Segregated Bike Lanes and Lack of Disclosure:
Ballesteros addresses the issue of one-directional bike lanes and suggests that it might be more useful and safer for cyclists to have lanes in both directions. He highlights the need for flexibility in bike lane design to accommodate different types of cyclists, such as those with carts or engaged in cyclologistics. Additionally, he recognizes the lack of awareness and education regarding the use of bike lanes among citizens and believes that promoting alternatives to car usage should be done simultaneously.
PP’s Lack of Technical Arguments and Request for Consensus:
Ballesteros argues that issues related to climate change, pollution, health, and safety should transcend party politics and be approached with consensus. He points out that previous PP governments in Vitoria promoted the construction of bike lanes, suggesting that the issue is not solely a matter of party affiliation. Ballesteros further states that the PP has not provided any technical arguments to support their decision. Moreover, he expresses disappointment at the lack of response from the PP regarding a meeting request.
Positive Assessment of Existing Bike Lanes and Future Expansion:
Regarding the current bike lanes, Ballesteros acknowledges that improvements can be made, particularly in terms of certain turns. However, he believes that the lanes have been well-constructed overall. Additionally, he emphasizes the importance of expanding the network, including the North-South cycling axis, as initially planned in the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan from 2013.
The formation of the group ‘Logroñear en Bici’ showcases the increasing political significance of the bike lane issue in Logroño. The group aims to preserve the existing bike lanes and prevent their removal or transfer. While the controversy has predominantly centered around Avenida de Portugal, the group highlights the need to address other contentious sections as well. Ultimately, their goal is to ensure the continued development of Logroño’s cycling network for the benefit of the environment and the city’s residents.