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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ministry approves nationwide cycling grid

Cycling Israel

In attempt to both encourage people to opt for eco-friendly transportation mode, fight deadly accidents Transportation Ministry greenlights paving of 400km of cycling trails

The Transportation Ministry has approved a new project that would see a new and extensive grid of cycling trails paved nationwide.
The Israel National Roads Company (NRC) has been tasked with creating the grid, which will stretch across 400 kilometers of both urban and interurban roads.
The project’s main goal is to minimize the deadly accidents cyclists are involved, especially when using interurban highways.
As a bonus, once safety is dramatically improved, the ministry hopes it would encourage more people to use this eco-friendly mode of transportation.
Israel’s competitive cycling community numbers in the thousands, and the recreational cycling community numbers in the tens of thousands.
The past few years have seen dozens of deadly accidents involving competitive road cyclists, both professional and amateur; and the more popular the sport became, the more pressing its infrastructure problem has become, as well.
The ministry and the NRC partnered with the Israel Cycling Federation and the Israel Police to plan the new grid, which stand to cost tens of millions of shekels.
The grid will span some 180km in northern Israel, 100km across its center and coastline and 120km in the south. NRC will also be responsible from their routine maintenance.
“The use of bicycles has grown exponentially over the past few years. They are now an important part of Israel’s transportation lineup and therefore the ministry has decided to increase its investment in infrastructure,” Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz told Yedioth Ahronoth.