Urban Cycling Grows in Serbia as Cities Unite for International Bicycle Day 2023
03 June 2023
3 June 2023
Belgrade, June 3, 2023 - On the observance of World Bicycle Day, UN Serbia, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Ulice za bicikliste Association, and KC Grad hosted a special edition of Critical Mass ride.
"Today's celebration of World Bicycle Day is a great opportunity to join in action and promote cycling as an excellent mode of urban transport for everyone – soft mobility is not just about recreational cycling. Together with Ulice za Bicikliste Association and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, we call for more cities to commit and create safer urban environments for all cycling citizens and pedestrians – including through dedicated infrastructure and traffic rules," said Françoise Jacob, UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia.
The Netherlands is one of the countries where cycling is a way of life, and on that occasion, Joost Reintjes, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Serbia, joined the ride - "Many cyclists who joined us today confirmed that many people are willing to use bicycles as a means of transport. The bicycle is healthy for people and the environment, it is a cheap means of transportation, and easy to park. It is a type of transport that is suitable for everyone regardless of age, lifestyle, or profession. "We hope that more cyclists on the streets will influence the traffic culture and better infrastructure," Reintjes added.
Zoran Bukvić from the Ulice za bicikliste Association emphasized that start of this year has passed in the struggle of bicycle organizations of Serbia to change Road traffic act and to implement Cycling strategy for the Republic of Serbia, in order to increase safety and better conditions for cycling in Serbia.This cooperation also resulted with forming a rooftop organization called Institute for urban mobility of Serbia, which is a network of cycling organizations from Bor, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Sremska Mitrovica, Zrenjanin, Smederevo, Loznica and Vrbas.
To achieve our goals, we see UN Serbia and Embassy of Kingdom of Netherlands as important allies in promoting of cycling as better way of life for all!
Hundreds of cyclists connected for a shared vision to promote cycling as an alternative mode of transport and foster the development of infrastructure to facilitate it. The cyclists journeyed through the historic parts of Belgrade to the business district of New Belgrade, with the aim of spreading the message on how cycling can be beneficial for citizens to commute to schools, universities, and for leisure.
Simultaneously, they encouraged employers to create an environment that encourages the use of bikes. As for city administrators, the event highlighted the importance of dedicating resources for the creation of dedicated bike lanes for future use.
The event concluded with the cycling community gathering at KC Grad for an open discussion centered around the activities of the day.
In addition, Novi Sad and Sremska Mitrovica joined the occasion, stressing the value of teaching children on the culture of biking and environmental consciousness at an early age.