News December 14, 2022

Quito: A Cycling Success Story

The Global Designing Cities Initiative is committed to reimagining streets as places for people, shaping cities that are healthy, accessible, and equitable for everyone. We also recognize cycling as a safe, efficient, and sustainable mode of transportation.

In too many cities, cycling infrastructure is often unprotected, disconnected, incomplete, and in need of innovation. In Partnership with the Global Designing Cities Initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies has recently launched the Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure (BICI)—a competitive grant program that will foster catalytic change in city cycling infrastructure around the world. Applications for the BICI program closed on February 3, 2023.

Despite the lack of safe cycling infrastructure that hinders many would-be cyclists around the world from relying on their bikes, there are a number of cities that have made significant progress in recent years.

Committed to making its streets more cycle-friendly, Quito, Ecuador, has implemented large-scale, successful cycling infrastructure projects that make it a cycling success story.

The cycling infrastructure projects in Avenida Amazonas, as well as Avenida Cardenal Norte, are among the active steps that the city of Quito has taken to prioritize the safety of its cyclists.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many cities faced the need to expand their alternative modes of transportation. This was the case with Quito’s cycling route along Avenida Amazonas. In July 2020, Quito’s Metropolitan Authority of Mobility began intervention for the interim cycle lane in Avenida Amazonas. Since then, Quito’s residents have been able to cycle in a safer, more sustainable way. According to a study conducted by the city’s Secretariat of Mobility, the number of trips by bicycle in Quito in July of 2020 increased by 600% as compared to January of the same year.

Protected cycle track in Avenida Amazonas. Quito, Ecuador.

As part of city-wide efforts to improve road safety, and to further provide residents with alternative transportation modes during COVID-19, nine kilometers of cycling lanes were installed in several areas in the South of Quito—including along Avenida Cardenal de la Torre.

These cycling infrastructure projects were an effort to not only promote active transportation modes  that would help prevent  the spread of COVID-19, but also to reduce the emission of air pollutants in Quito by reducing the reliance on motorized vehicles.

Protected cycle track in Avenida Amazonas. Quito, Ecuador.

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