Coronavirus brings about cycling boom in Kraków

The first three weeks of September 2020 saw the share of bike traffic 26 percent higher than during the same period in 2019. ANTONIO BAT/PAP/EPA

Kraków has seen an urban cycling boom as a result of the coronavirus. 

New data shows a significant increase in bike traffic with the first three weeks of September 2020 seeing the share of bike traffic 26 percent higher than during the same period in 2019.

Increases were also recorded at 13 measuring locations around the city. The largest was observed on Tynieckiego Street, where it rose by as much as 59 percent.

Of the people who said that they are ready to use a car less often, almost two-thirds (62 percent) were women. Kalbar/TFN

The change has been supported by improvements in the cycling infrastructure in Kraków, but it is also part of a wider evolution in attitudes to mobility in Poland and beyond.

The research by Poland’s National Centre for Climate Change shows that 25 percent of Poles limited how much they drive during the pandemic. As many as 63 percent of respondents said that they would be ready to use a car more rarely after the pandemic.

Dr Justyna Orłowska from the Centre said: “Part of the changes was precisely the partial abandonment of the use of cars, one of the main sources of carbon monoxide and nitrogen emissions that increases global warming.

The boom has been brought about by the coronavirus which has seen fewer people using cars and public transport. FERNANDO BIZERRA/PAP/EPA

“According to climate change psychologists cooperating with us, this is due to the mechanism whereby people who have observed the disappearance of some kind of behaviour are more likely to do the same in the future.”

Of the people who said that they are ready to use a car less often, almost two-thirds (62 percent) were women. 

The largest age group among the respondents who answered in this way were the over-55-year-olds, accounting for 38 percent of them. 

The change has been supported by improvements in the cycling infrastructure in Kraków, but it is also part of a wider evolution in attitudes to mobility in Poland and beyond.Alesia Kazantceva/Unsplash

A small percentage of respondents - 14 percent - used a car more often during the pandemic. 

The researchers have linked this to a fall in trust in public transport, as people sought to avoid being infected with the virus and the number of seats on public transport was limited. 

The sale and manufacturing of bicycles has also reached a four year high in Poland. To read more click HERE.