Cycling 2030: Lebanon’s Road Map on the First World Bicycle Day

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Cycling 2030: Lebanon’s Road Map on the First World Bicycle Day

Promoting cycling as a climate-friendly, inclusive, and sustainable mode of transportation

The United Nations has designated June 3rd as World Bicycle Day. The resolution, co-authored by Lebanon, calls to “advance the use of the bicycle as a means of fostering sustainable development; strengthening education, including physical education, for children and young people; promoting health; preventing disease; promoting tolerance, mutual understanding and respect; and facilitating social inclusion and a culture of peace”.

Cycling is the most cost-effective way of reducing congestion while improving quality of life in cities. Respiratory diseases and traffic accidents are leading causes of premature death in Lebanon, while congestion costs the country up to 15% of GDP annually. Cycling is affordable, safe and healthy, delivering cleaner air and calmer, quieter streets with every stride. Lebanon’s small size and urban population are ideal for a sustainable transportation system with safe roads and low environmental impact. The bicycle will play a key role in bringing this vision to fruition.

We recall Lebanon’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, whereby Lebanon pledged to reduce 15 to 30% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. We emphasize that the people of Lebanon have identified sound infrastructure and public transportation as central to “The Lebanon We Want” in nationwide consultations.

We therefore hope to place cycling at the heart of a sustainable transportation policy for Lebanon, including infrastructure development and behavioural change.

Between 2018 and 2030:

  1. Ensure that one in five trips under 5 km in Lebanon is done by bicycle 
  2. Add 800 km of new bike lanes to connect neighbourhoods and cities 
  3. Install public bike racks every 500m in urban areas and in main public and commercial spaces 
  4. Deliver affordable bike share programs in cities with 100,000 inhabitants or more 
  5. Train law enforcement and the public on the benefits of cycling and sharing the road 
  6. Designate a cycling champion in large municipalities and key ministries 
  7. Provide legislative and fiscal incentives for the adoption of a cycling culture 
  8. Create a cycling ecosystem involving civil society, the private sector, researchers and policy makers, to coordinate efforts and engage citizens 
  9. Engage with municipal, national and international policy and funding instruments, including the Sustainable Mobility 4 All (Sum4ALL) partnership and the UN Road Safety Trust Fund
  10. By 2019, submit legislation in Parliament formalizing the government’s commitments to these principles, laying out a Cycling Action Plan for implementation, and defining cyclist rights 

On the occasion of the first World Bicycle Day, we pledge our commitment to promoting cycling as a green, efficient and inclusive mode of transportation, and an essential component of Lebanon’s sustainable development strategy.