This route was chosen in an online voting that ended on March 9, and this summer, Polotsk cyclists will be able to test the lane. It will be one of the results of a project aimed to develop new modes of transportation in the city, which Interakcia and Polotsk’s government have been implementing together.
More than 750 people took part in the voting and supported the route that goes through Polotsk’s central streets, Aeroport neighborhood, and the park known as Kurgan. However, the victory, as shown in the diagram below, was not landslide. The length of the lane will be no less than 7-8 km. Polotsk residents could vote and post their comments in a special group on the social network Vkontakte, as well as on the websites and social network groups of the leading Polotsk media. (Three routes that were on the vote list can be viewed here.)
The bike lane will occupy a part of the sidewalk, while signs denoting a cycling path will appear. In addition, at crossroads, the height of sidewalk edges will be reduced for making cycling safe and convenient.
Moreover, on the last day of the voting for the route of the lane, one more event to promote urban cycling started in Polotsk: a contest among Polotsk schoolchildren who are asked to come up with a “dream” bike lane of any length, form, and type. However, what is especially important for contest participants is to substantiate why Polotsk needs their route. For this end, they can use any available data and even conduct their own surveys among cyclists. Finally, contest participants can also make short video presentations of their projects.
The bike lane will appear in Polotsk this summer thanks to the project that will result in a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for Polotsk, the city’s new transportation strategy until 2030. The project is funded by the European Union.
The Plan should help Polotsk to curb CO2 emissions coming from personal vehicles through developing new bus routes and bike lanes. Unfortunately, air pollution in Polotsk region is one of the highest in Belarus.