30 May 2011
Cape Town is one of the 15 most bike-friendly destinations in the world, according to a CNN feature on 15 cities around the world “where drivers use all five fingers when they wave at you”.
African cities “aren’t the first that spring to mind for bike friendliness, but Cape Town is doing its best to change that,” CNN noted in an article earlier this month featuring South Africa’s “Mother City” among the likes of Amsterdam and Barcelona in Europe, Chicago and San Francisco in North America, and Beijing and Bogota in “Elsewhere”.
“The South African hub is committed to creating cycling lanes, dedicated bike parking and public commuter showers,” CNN said.
Cape Town Partnership MD Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana said that being compared to “benchmark pedestrian and bike-friendly cities such as Berlin, Paris, Chicago and Barcelona is very encouraging.
Lead SA, an initiative that encourages South Africans to celebrate the country’s achievements while taking responsibility for its problems, said the CNN mention was recognition of Cape Town’s commitment to making cycling lanes efficient and safe in order “to assist in alleviating congestion and pollution by cars.
“Less cars and more convenient, eco-friendly access to the city is key to making Cape Town a more liveable city,” Lead SA said in a statement last week.
“What Capetonians should also know is that the new MyCiti buses operating in various areas from Tableview and within Cape Town allow cyclists to take their bikes on board with them and also to leave them at secure lock-up points close to the stations.”
According to Lead SA, Cape Town’s new cycling lanes mirror the MyCiti bus routes, by running to the right of the existing bus lanes along the northern route, which includes Blaauwberg, Table View and Milnerton. The cycling lanes are three metres wide and evenly paved for a smooth ride. The paved lane stretches for 16 kilometres.
There are numerous companies that rent out bicycles in Cape Town, such as ByBike, and various guided bicycle tours are also on offer. The Bicycle Empowerment Network and Vamos Cycling Tour are two companies offering two-wheeled tours through the city’s townships.
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