A new national level policy issued in Lima, Peru on October 8 gives priority to strong biking legislation in Peru. The press release (translated here in English) explains key components of the legislation:
“In order to comply with this standard, the law states that the government encourages and promotes the use of bicycles at all levels of government, provides road safety conditions for the use of this mode of transport and must report on the implementation of the law on an annual basis to the public . . . The government will also encourage the construction of infrastructure to facilitate the use and parking of bicycles as an alternative means of transport.”
The announcement also states:
“On their end, local governments will promote cycling in their transportation master plans and land use plans for large metropolitan areas, as well as health programs within its jurisdiction.”
When it comes to sustainable urban mobility in Latin America, the challenge is often to get people on their bikes, where in other regions of the world, like India, the goal is to keep people on their bikes. About 40 percent to 50 percent of Indian households own bicycles and many big Indian cities show an “extremely high” use of non-motorized transport, according to this report. Bicycle use is not as high in Latin America cities. In Lima, for example, about 10 percent of trips were made by bicycle in 2002 (which is actually a vast improvement from the mid-1990s, when only 2 percent of trips were on bikes.)
The passage of the new policy in Peru shows that biking is gaining popularity with policymakers and the public, showing a formal commitment for streets and public spaces designed for people and not simply private cars. The country declared September 22 as a National Day Without Cars, in line with the global World Carfree Day movement.
Larissa Da Silva, Latin America associate for EMBARQ (the producer of this blog), says as Peru increasingly funds biking projects, biking infrastructure in Peru will improve, diminishing CO2 emissions, increasing physical activity and improving street safety. In the end, this national law aimed at all levels of government will probably be very beneficial for sustainable transportation in terms of allocating funding to biking projects.
You can find more information on the legislation here.