Cars are one of the biggest polluting agents in cities, thus by reducing their use the population will be able to turn work commutes into an eco-friendlier action. To replace the use of cars some people are using bikes, as they can be physically active while going to work, for example.
Municipalities are gradually turning cities into safer places for bike riders. However, in Lisbon, the Almirante Reis bike lane is expected to be removed from the city and citizens are not happy with the possibility of losing the bike lane.
The movement Lisboa Possível is working on turning Lisbon into a pedestrian and cycling city. In this context, a petition has already been signed by almost 3,000 people who do not want to stop circulating on the bike lane or by those who think that this kind of infrastructure is important to Lisbon and cannot be removed until another safe alternative is made.
The movement Lisboa Possível sent an open letter to Lisbon’s Major Carlos Moedas, subscribed by 43 different environmental or educational entities. In the letter, the necessity for creating safe alternatives is highlighted, if people cannot use the Almirante Reis bike lane anymore. In the letter, it is also read that “cities are responsible for 60 percent of gas emissions that cause global warming.”
In October, a thousand people gathered in a demonstration which started at Praça do Martim Moniz and ended in Alameda, in Lisbon. Most of the participants were travelling by bike. The participants of the demonstration were fighting against the proposal of Carlos Moedas of shutting down Almirante Reis bike lane without offering the population a safe alternative for the bike rider, or even people with reduced mobility to use around the city.
According to a press release sent by Lisboa Possivel, on 2 December the petition with 2,600 signatures has the intention of “appealing to the discussion of Almirante Reis future”, and was given to the Municipal Assembly of Lisbon. On the same note, the movement mentions that “the bike lane is a fundamental infrastructure for those who circulate” by other individual means of transports that are not cars.
During his campaign Carlos Moedas mentioned that working with the community is important, thus the movement expects the mayor to read the letter and keep the Almirante Reis bike lane available for the population until other alternatives are functioning in Lisbon.
Besides the issue of the Almirante Reis bike lane, the movement also wants the municipality to improve public transport and the quality of the air, as wells as calling out the lack of green spaces and the excess noise of the city.