Today’s Solutions: February 03, 2023

When the first “bicycle mayor”–a person who serves as a connecting point between city departments, nonprofits, and other bike advocates– was chosen in Amsterdam in 2016, the idea was to help an already bike-obsessed city become even more bikeable. But the program was never intended only to be about Amsterdam. The nonprofit behind the idea aims to bring bike mayors to 200 cities by the end of 2019. The program is already in nearly 30 cities, from São Paulo to Istanbul. Each bicycle mayor focuses on the local issues that are most relevant. In Cape Town, South Africa, the city’s bike mayor has been helping women in townships learn how to ride a bike for the first time and connecting them with other programs that offer access to bicycles. Meanwhile, in Panama City, the bicycle mayor is helping companies launch bike-to-work programs and working with the US Embassy in an attempt to reduce car use in the congested city. And in Beirut, the bicycle mayor is meeting with government officials to help bring cycling into national environmental and traffic plans, and teaching kids to ride bikes to help increase the number of students who bike to school. If your city doesn’t already have a bike mayor, don’t be surprised if it has one soon.

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