Google finds a biking peak in pandemic, Will this last?

Google finds a biking peak in pandemic, Will this last?

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The data are auspicious, but a Forbes article recalls the boom of the '70s and calls for investing in infrastructure so that this trend endures.

Powerful tool is Google Maps. With it, the online communications giant can track the trips of its users around the world, and the means of transport in vogue. The data that it collected in the first half of the 2020 that is coming to an end, prove what was suspected: a 69 percent increase in the use of the bicycle, globally, compared to the same period of 2019.

Finland, Poland and Canada, with more than a 200 percent increase in travel (300 percent in the Finnish case) top this list, followed by Germany, France and the United States. Spain also experiences an increase, although less in comparison, around 23 percent.

And in a New York that is going through the second wave of Covid19, and from where I write these lines, the use of the bike even with temperatures below zero degrees Celsius, is well perceived on a daily basis: fewer people, less cars, more bikes on the road.

Some European countries–leaders in the use of bicycles–but also developing nations such as Colombia have extended the implementation of new bike lanes, a good sign that changes in transport could survive the virus. But in a market as relevant as the US, infrastructure is not up to the transformation.

An article from May 2020 by the influential Forbes magazine, recalls the boom of bikes in that country during the first half of the 1970s–a market that went from selling 6 million units in 1970, to 15 million in 1973–and its resounding end. Forbes' diagnosis for the new peak is very simple: “The 2020 bike boom could have a more lasting impact on cities around the world than the 1970s bike boom had on America. But only if planners and politicians—and people—clamor for this change.”

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