Medellin’s Safe Route, one of Despacio’s major projects of the last few years, is about to have its first birthday. The AMVA has conducted a count of bike use twice a month since the Safe Route’s impelementation and can confirm that rush hour bicycle trips along the Avenida San Juan have increased between 270% (current) and 1000% (measured during the World Urban Forum in April 2014). This finding shows that improving infrastructure and connecting different parts of the city can increase bicycle use.
This news is the best way to celebrate the anniversary of the Safe Route to the WUF7. Despacio worked with a number of entities and people last year to formulate and implement the Safe Route bicycle lane, and hopes to continue in project evaluation and monitoring. The project was carried out in cooperation with UN Habitat and the Aburrá Valley Metropolitan Area.
There are still challenges however, including putting the lane on the roadway itself, conserving the plants and paint, and improving interactions between pedestrians and cyclists in the bridge’s shared space. We thank all the project’s participants and the people that use the Safe Route every day to get around Medellin. Without them, our dream of improving bicycle mobility along Avenida San Juan would never have become a reality.