After the implementation of traffic calming measures throughout the city, threats for cyclists are now minimal and they may use the roads freely, without any risk of collision.
Few bicycle lanes
Local authorities in Pontevedra committed themselves to a model of pedestrian based intermodality where all forms of transport could share a common space, preventing the excesses derived from older mobility models devised exclusively for private cars. Traffic calming measures have been implemented in the city center and motorized vehicles are no longer a threat to cyclists or pedestrians, which is confirmed by the sharp decline in accidents over the last decade.
Some bicycle lanes were preserved and several have been expanded into safe itineraries alongside river Lérez, bringing together footpaths from the Monteporreiro estate to Illa do Covo and Xunqueira de Alba, thus eliminating black spots that presented risks for cyclists.
Why are there few bicycles?
Most distances in the city of Pontevedra may easily be covered on foot; therefore, the role bicycles play in the mobility hierarchy is not primordial, as would happen in other urban environments.
Bicycles in Pontevedra are part of a lifestyle rather than a transport requirement, since cyclists rarely save time in their displacements if their average estimated time of arrival is compared with that of pedestrians either in the city center or the inner ring. However, many residents choose to ride their bikes even when the distance between their home and their destination is short.
The local council tried out a bicycle loan scheme that was later discontinued. Residents generally preferred to use their own bikes and maintaining the equipment proved to be quite costly. Cyclists favor purchasing their own materials and feel completely safe in the city’s healthy public spaces.
Bicycle stands are available citywide and the number of reported incidents of theft is negligible.
In addition, new entrepreneurial initiatives have chosen bikes over cars to deliver parcels and meals in the city center and inner ring.