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GP: Promoting bicycle usage in Koprivnica - Croatia PDF Print E-mail

Koprivnica, with 31554 residents,[1] is one of the middle-size cities in Croatia. In the last decade, because of economical development of Koprivnica, and several town-based companies, more and more people started to buy new cars. In the same time, transport infrastructure was poor quality; roads were old and unsuitable, pedestrian sidewalks unsuitable for the disabled and cycling tracks few and unconnected. Because of that, city transport decided to develop sustainable transport system. 


They have introduce four strategies for environmentally friendly transport; elimination of physical barriers for disabled people, spreading of pedestrian and bicycle surface, spreading and protection of green areas and introduction of public bicycles.[2]
In 2001, Koprivnica had 17 kilometers[3] of cycle lanes. They decided to increase that number, so now they have almost 70 kilometers of lanes. (2m per citizen!) and more than 100 km pedestrian pathways, 36 children's playgrounds and more than 1000 regular cyclists-commuters among high school students and employees in local firms. During European Mobility Week 2007 (September 16th – 22nd), City of Koprivnica initiated three-year programme that aims reallocation of road space to non-motorized transport in 3 streets with total length 1.5 km by 2010.
Second project started in 2004. when Municipality got more than hundred bicycles from police department. Police had those bicycles on storage, collected during couple of year. Municipality took them, repair them, painted them, and offer them to citizens of Koprivnica. On fortunately bicycles were stolen in next couple of days. Next year, Municipality got donation of new 100 bicycles, but they were also stolen soon. In 2006. Koprivnica got new bicycles again, but this time they were guarded by civil military service. They were writing down the IDs numbers of the users, so it was clear who was the last that has used specific bicycle, and who is responsible if the bicycle was damaged or gone. Currently, Municipality is planning to establish a modern system of public bicycles, that will electronically monitor the usage.
Except Municipality, Old timer club “The Bicycle”[4] is also contributing to promotion of bicycle usage. Their center is in Bjelovar, a town very near Koprivnica. Their main goal is to promote cycling but they are also collecting old bicycles, of which majority is older than 30 years. In cooperation with City of Koprivnica, they have organized an exhibition with old bicycles, reminding people on this important and often neglected means of transport. This exhibition has ended at the end of 2008.[5] and total worth of all bicycles in the exhibition was 190.000 HRK (around 26.000 euros). Except that, on December 12th 2008, they have published a catalog titled “From Leonardo da Vinci to our time”[6]  Catalog contains all 7 bicycles that were part of exhibition, and each of them is presenting a period in bicycle development since 1510, when Leonardo da Vinci invented bicycle. Catalog is printed on Croatian, English and Hungarian language, and it is planned to be published on several other languages on the internet.
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