By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – As the number of bicycles on Rio’s streets continue to increase, so do the number of reported accidents. To insure greater safety for cyclists in training, lanes in Aterro do Flamengo will replace the lanes currently used in Ipanema and Leblon for early morning riding.
O Globo reports that the newly designated lane areas will be available for use by training cyclists during the early morning hours of 3:30 AM to 5:30 AM, Mondays through Fridays.
The lane change comes after several recent accidents involving cyclists have resulted in at least two deaths in the month of April.
On Monday, April 1st, co-director of the Globo program “Amor & Sexo” (“Love & Sex”), Gisela Matta, died after being struck by a bus while cycling in Leblon.
On Tuesday, April 30th triathlete Pedro Nikolay died while participating with twenty other athletes in a training practice for the upcoming Ironman World Championship, which will take place in Spain on May, 18th.
The 31-year-old Nikolay incurred fatal injuries after being hit by a bus at the intersection of Avenida Vieira Souto and Rua Henrique Dumont in Ipanema, located in Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone). The day after Nikolay’s death, another triathlete, Alberto da Silveira Júnior, was also involved in a collision.
According to the city municipal planning, which performs bicycle path network expansion, there will be 30km of new bike paths and bike lanes this year, 40km in 2014, 50km in 2015 and 30km in 2016, for a total of 150km, and investments that are expected to reach R$98.65 million.
In the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area, NGO non-profit Transporte Ativo (Active Transport) reported an increase of 84.9 percent in the use of bicycles for the past eight years, from 649,000 trips per day in 2004 to an estimated 1.2 million daily commutes in 2012.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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