Tel Aviv area cycling infrastructure set for major expansion

Publication titleGlobes (Rishon LeZion, Israel)
The plan is meant to achieve the goals set for the breakdown of the use of different means of transport, according to which 12% of journeys in the Tel Aviv district should be by bicycle, which compares with 3% today. For Tel Aviv itself, the target is 20%, which compares with 7% today. For other local authorities in the district - Azor, Ramat Gan, Ramat Hasharon, Or Yehuda, Holon, Bat Yam, Herzliya, Kiryat Ono, Givatayim, Kfar Shmaryahu, and Bnei Brak - the targets are substantially higher than the current rate of use of bicycles. The planned 758 kilometers of cycling paths are in addition to the existing 251 kilometers, and mostly in Tel Aviv

According to the plan, Tel Aviv will gain 283 kilometers, Ramat Gan 69 kilometers, Herzliya 90 kilometers, Holon 75 kilometers, with the rest spread over the remaining local authorities. The paths will cross 146 bridges, some of them already in existence and some approved for construction, and the plan proposes adding another nineteen bridges for bicycles. The plan is based on surveys of existing traffic and forecasts of future demand.

Priority will be given to streets in which bicycle traffic is above the regional average, streets that will complement an efficient network of paths without dead ends and that connect to the Ofnidan network of long-range bicycle paths, and that have advanced planning status. The network's coverage is meant to bring buildings within 250 meters of cycling infrastructure. Coverage on that basis will rise from 42% today to nearly 90%.

The existing rate of bicycle use varies widely between one local authority and another, with Tel Aviv in the lead by a long way. An international comparison presented in the plan shows Tel Aviv towards the top of cities promoting cycling infrastructure, but the rest of the Dan region lags far behind.

The plan was drawn up by the Ministry of Transport, the Planning Administration, and consultants Planet and Eshed, and is part of a more comprehensive national plan that sets out how many kilometers of cycle paths are required in the built-up areas in all of Israel. The budget estimate for the whole network is NIS 8 billion, divided into five-year portions, NIS 2 billion for each five-year period. This substantially raises the investment per capita in cycling infrastructure in Israel, and, unlike various other master plans, this one rests on a budget that has already been...

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