ConBici is the Spanish Organization of Cycling Associations that groups together more than 60 local associations.
Due to the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and in view of a social and media climate of criminalisation of the bicycle, ConBici is obliged to make this position statement on the use of the bicycle.
First of all, the use of the bicycle should be encouraged, as it is an extremely valuable alternative for mobility at all times, and especially in the current situation.
Public bicycle services must be reopened, as they are an excellent alternative to public and private motorised transport. This would free up space on public transport so that transit users could keep the safety distances recommended by health authorities.
Cycle lanes should be created by removing the space disproportionately dedicated to motorised traffic, so as to encourage safe mass cycling journeys. Exclusive cycling and pedestrian spaces must be significantly expanded.
It is necessary to reduce vehicle speed, establishing a 30 km/h speed limit throughout cities so as to guarantee road safety and avoid reckless behaviour. Speed limit reductions must not rest on the mere installation of road signalling. Traffic calming street design modifications and effective speed control systems will be necessary.
Bicycle repair shops should be allowed to re-open so as to service bicycles used for all authorised activities, in the same way that car repair shops have remained open to service motor vehicles for authorised personnel.
The State’s security forces personnel must recognise the bicycle as a fundamental means of transportation. They must be instructed on the state of alarm legislation which restricts personal mobility to a few essential activities, but does not restrict any means of transportation. Bias against cycling still exists in our society at large and also within our state security forces. Therefore, all security forces personnel must be informed and trained on the laws which regulate cycling during the state of alarm.
Traffic light intervals have to be modified so as to prioritise pedestrians and cyclists. Reduced waiting times for pedestrians and cyclists are essential to avoid crowds building up and allow for social distancing at traffic lights. All beg buttons for pedestrians and cyclists must be deactivated, as pressing buttons is a way to spread the virus.
Absolute respect for pedestrian and cyclist spaces is a must, motor vehicle parking regulations are to be strictly enforced at all times, specially for motor vehicles occupying sidewalks and cycle lanes. New green routes must be established, adding exclusive segregated lanes for cycling and additional lanes for pedestrians. Where street width does not allow for segregated pedestrian and cycling lanes, the street is to be shared by all vehicles, establishing priority for active mobility modes.
New bicycle parking areas are to be deployed on all hospitals, main city destinations and transport hubs. These bicycle parking lots are to be equipped with the necessary locking elements and comply with all the appropriate security and safety standards.