Inspiring advocacy: New cycling infrastructure in Kyiv

This year Kyiv got it’s first complete route that connects one of the neighbourhoods with the city centre. Unlike previous projects, the route logically connects a residential area and the city centre with a high concentration of workplaces. 

Elected in May 2014, new Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitchko and his team show greater support to cycling and other activities that improve public health. 2015 is a local elections year in Ukraine, therefore, local authorities are more open to visible and relatively cheap projects. These factors were very helpful to argue in favour of a cycling route and funding for its construction. Almost non-existing guidelines for cycling infrastructure in Ukraine still keep any cycling infrastructure project a big challenge for traffic engineers. Nevertheless, national authorities and respective ministries already recognise the problem of missing guidelines.

As of November 2015, Ksenia Semenova, one of the AVK staff members is the Mayor’s advisor on cycling infrastructure. Last December, AVK persuaded the mayor and city administration to focus on this particular cycling route. Construction of 13,6 km route lasted from March to September 2015. Part of the route goes through a large recreational green area with 20 km/h speed limit.

Ksenia was part of the planning and design process, together with other AVK members and cyclists she was monitoring the construction works and informing cycling community about design solutions, problems and plans.

Participation in the ECF Leadership Programme allowed us to secure larger EU funding for advocacy and cycling promotion work. Thanks to the programme, AVK has permanent staff who can dedicate time and energy to communication with local authorities, organisation of public events and fairs to promote cycling and, therefore, to build public support for cycling routes like this one.

AVK plans to continue working with the local administration to secure funding for the neighbouring to the cycling route streets and to include plans for over 60 km of new cycling routes into the city budget for the next three years.

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