Castellón consolidates its cycling revolution: the urban network would unite the city with Vinaròs
CASTELLON. A simple gesture such as exchanging 50 kilometers per week by car for walking, cycling or bus routes would mean reducing CO emissions by 450 kilos per person per year2 into the atmosphere, the equivalent of planting five new trees. The benefits on air quality of choosing a bicycle for urban travel are among those highlighted by the UN in a recent decalogue published on the occasion of World Bicycle Day.
A challenge, that of advancing towards carbon neutrality, which facilitates the network of bike lanes that sews the capital of La Plana and that continues to add kilometers: by the end of the year it will reach 82 kilometers, practically the same distance that separates Castelló from Vinaròs, in the north of the province. It will do so after incorporating the last road under construction, which will cover a kilometer and a half of the pedestrian and cycling itinerary into which Lidón Avenue will be transformed after its comprehensive remodeling.
On the state podium
The latest data collected in the Bicycle Barometer of the National Institute of Statistics, corresponding to the 2019 financial year (the last updated) placed the capital of La Plana in third place in the state ranking of cities with the most kilometers of bike lanes per inhabitant, only behind Vitoria and Albacete.
The boom in weight that the bike is gaining in urban space as a means of transport is also reflected in the rising rate of use registered by the municipal bicycle loan service of Castelló, Bicicas. The data provided by the municipal Mobility area at the beginning of this summer indicates that there are 33.650 users registered in the system in the city, of which 5.325 have some type of active subscription. Of these, 3.089 are men and 2.236 are women. Bicicas has 62 bases distributed throughout the city, including its maritime district and the beach, and is made up of 550 bicycles.
The latest routes added
In just over a year, the city has managed to add 5 new kilometers of cycling routes. In July 2021, it launched the 800-meter bike lane on Músico Pascual Asensio street, financed with European funds. It was later followed by the CV-16 cycle path (1,8 kilometres), run by the Generalitat Valenciana; the 620 meters of protected bike lane in the Cuadra Lairón, executed by Infrastructures; and the one on Harley Davidson Avenue, in Grau, with 283 meters and promoted by the Mobility area of the Castelló City Council to connect the Serradal bike lane with that of Ferrandis Salvador. By the end of the year, the Lidón avenue bike lane will be operational.
The urban cycling network runs 75% through the urban area. However, for the first time in the last two years, it has also spread to industrial estates such as the Ciudad del Transporte (which is thus linked to the urban area) or to peripheral neighborhood groups such as Lourdes or Camarillas, hitherto isolated from the point cyclist view.
More segregated lanes
Despite the rising pace of the Castellón cycling network, the Castelló City Council clarifies that the construction of new bike lanes in the city in recent months, more than extra kilometers, has translated into a reinforcement of the quality and safety of the same. And it is that in several of them what has been done has been to eliminate the existing bike paths (cycle paths marked on sidewalks) to create segregated bike lanes (exclusive for bikes) and therefore more efficient from the point of view of the mobility, and safer by being protected from road traffic.