A new program will provide as much as $1 million to 10 different cities worldwide to transform their cycling infrastructure in an effort to make streets safer for riders and reduce dependency on cars.
The Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure, a collaboration between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Global Designing Cities Initiative, will target cities with more than 100,000 residents and accept applications on a rolling basis from Nov. 10 to Feb. 3. Those selected will also receive guidance from GDCI, which has helped local governments in more than 30 cities with similar initiatives.
The plan was announced in Amsterdam on Monday at CityLab, a summit for urban leaders hosted by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute. Safer infrastructure can spur more biking, according to a report from the League of American Bicyclists released earlier this year.
“Investments in safe and accessible bike lanes are investments in the health, sustainability and economic future of the entire planet,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, founding chair of GDCI. “Cities need people-first street designs, not just megaprojects to move cars, and this unique program will help cities open more streets to more people safely, while reducing emissions.”
Many cities have already embarked on such street transformations. In Oakland, California — which has implemented a suite of improvements for cyclists along roadways — the number of bike lanes and targeted bike lanes has soared. Street repavement can also be key. In Austin, Texas — which repaves roads at a faster pace than typical — bike lanes have cropped up faster, too. The city has increased the number of miles in its planned cycling network by 34% since 2014.
Cities selected for the BICI program will receive awards ranging from $400,000 to $1 million. Technical assistance and opportunities to meet with other winning cities will last for up to three years, according to a statement.
(Adds dates for applications in second paragraph.)
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Amelia Pollard in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
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