From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published September 19, 2012 09:30 AM

Mobility Week in Europe

It is Mobility Week in Europe (September 16 thru 22). The event is designed to promote the benefits of non-automobile transport in cities. Europe's cities are the main engines of economic growth, but personal vehicles continue to generate severe pollution and congestion despite efforts to reverse the trend, the European Commission warned as it launched its annual Mobility Week campaign and a new initiative on clean transport. What is desired is to emphasize bicycles and walking as opposed to driving cars.

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"It's time to start moving in the right direction. Moving towards a sustainable and efficient transport system will help enhance mobility and at the same time reduce pollution and improve the quality of life in cities," said Janez Potočnik, the EU environment commissioner.

"Better planning can help cities benefit from greater mobility as well as better air quality, reduced emissions, less noise and a healthier urban environment," he said.

The Commission has called for a necessary transition from primarily a car-based personal mobility in cities to a mobility based on walking and cycling, high quality public transport and electric passenger vehicles as the central strategic challenge for cities in decades to come.

One product, a pedelec, provides an electric boost when pedalling uphill. The rider can also use the bike's electric battery to go faster. The battery recharges going downhill.

A pedelec's battery needs to be recharged after 100 kilometres. Recharging the battery to its maximum capacity costs around 50 cents, Beckers said.

"If you go to work on this, you never sweat," Beckers told EurActiv, adding that he would also recommend it to older people who might have health problems but need a bit of exercise.

Many European cities are designed with narrow streets left over from medieval times and tend to be crowded in that way.  Amsterdam is famous for its thousands of bikes in use but is also very flat. 

American cities are built to be more sprawling and less adaptable to a bike culture.  Nevertheless the future will dictate what it will based on energy needs and restrictions and desire for less pollution.

For further information see Europe Mobility.

Bike image via Mobility Week.

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