In a twitter chat I asked Carlton Reid, a veteran in the field of Transport Journalism from UK – Are temporary bike lanes durable? to which he responded “Tactical Urbanism is all about speed with a stated or unstated desire for permanency i.e., as happened at Times Square in New York City. Temporary quickly becomes … we should keep this”.

The idea of rapid transformation of urban streets often referred as ‘Tactical Urbanism’ is credited to Janette Sadik Khan, former transport commissioner of New York (2007-2013) under the Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Janette Sadik Khan managed to transform the streets of New York into dynamic spaces, safe for pedestrians and bikers – the most expeditious installations of bike lanes ever executed in any city.

‘Tactical Urbanism’ is about knowing how your streets can function better when redesigned, not by reconstructing it totally but by reallocating the existing space. With her experience in swift-implementation strategies and transformative success achieved in New York City streets, Janette Sadik Khan, an international figure and a leading voice in urban transportation policy is consulting cities around the world on their transport recovery action plans post corona virus restrictions are lifted.

Cities across Europe, America etc. are latching onto this opportunity of ‘Tactical Urbanism’ to reallocate street space and give more priority to pedestrian walking and cycling. Before resurgence of cars takes place, cities want to re-imagine their streets with a fresh outlook and ensure that everyone is able to get around safely.

Off late, the topic of Temporary cycle lanes or Pop-Up cycle lanes is trending on digital media and caught interest of writers and publishers making headlines.

“Paris To Create 650 Kilometers Of Post-Lockdown Cycleways”

“Paris Has a Plan to Keep Cars Out After Lockdown”

“Cities Like New York, Paris, and Berlin Are Adding More Bike Lanes”

pop-up cycle lanes
Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Denver, Calgary, Vancouver, Berlin, Sydney, London, Dublin … more cities are joining every week.

Even World Health Organization in its interim guideline  ‘Strengthening Preparedness for COVID-19 in Cities and Urban Settings’ has recommended …

“For movement in urban areas, promote safe and active mobility like walking and cycling”.

Use of public transport at Pre-Covid levels will take time as people will be reluctant to share mobility systems. Bicycles are salvaging the situation by fulfilling the mobility needs and simultaneously adhering to physical distancing norms.

As a reaction to changing needs of transportation and mobility patterns, MOBYCON an independent consultancy firm based in the Netherlands has released a guide to introduce temporary bicycle lanes and make space for cycling in 10 days.

The guide is a result of MOBYCON’s working experience with Berlin district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg where it implemented temporary infrastructure for safe cycling.

This 32 page guidebook answers key questions such as –

What are the basic principles to create space for cycling in a 1.5 meter society?

What are the steps involved in implementing temporary measures?

The document also contains several before-and-after cross section examples illustrating which measures can be used to construct temporary cycle lanes, and covers a template for project schedule.

Towns and Cities that currently do not offer safe space for cycling and intend to create facilities for cyclist’s, this guide serves as a useful reference point for planning safe and temporary infrastructure that can be implemented  quickly.

Who can benefit from this guide?

  • Municipality
  • Transport and City planners
  • Professional Consultants
  • Cycling Campaigners
  • Education and Research Institutes


Download the manual using this link : MOBYCON SAFE SPACE FOR CYCLING IN 10 DAYS



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Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai


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