Number of cyclists up 40% in Rīga since 2014

The number of cyclists in Rīga has grown 40% since 2014, according to the Pilsēta cilvēkiem (A city for people) urban activist group.

According to traffic surveys carried out across bridges on Rīga in mid-September, about 600 cyclists cross the Vanšu bridge in an hour, which is about five times more than 10 years ago.

"The number of cyclists on bridges means that the situation on the sidewalks of bridges is getting more and more dangerous and unsafe, as 97.9% of the cyclists chose to use the sidewalk," the association said. 

Pilsēta cilvēkiem said that the central Krišjāņa Barona and Lāčplēša streets, on which there is cycling infrastructure, however see 95% of cyclists use the road instead.

The number of women cyclists has increased 48.9% and that of male cyclists 35.1%. Nevertheless there are more male as opposed to women cyclists (63% to 37%).

The traffic survey was carried out mid-September, lasting for an hour, from 8 to 9 a.m. across 26 locations in Rīga. 

As the number of cyclists is growing in the Latvian capital, pressure is mounting on Rīga mayor Nils Ušakovs (Harmony) and the city's traffic department to introduce more cycling infrastructure.

Last spring activists installed a guerrilla bike lane on the central Brīvības street. It was promptly removed. 

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