ClientRiga City Council Traffic Department
Our client is the Riga City Council Traffic Department. It is a part of the Riga City Council, which is the government of the city of Riga, the capital of Latvia. Its meeting place is in the Riga Town Hall at the Town Hall Square in the very heart of Riga.
The Riga City Council Traffic Department consists of 60 councillors elected annually based on four party factions.
The number of cyclists in Riga is constantly growing. Throughout the pre-COVID period from 2014 to 2019, the number of cyclists on the city’s main bridges grew significantly. Moreover, the trend in winter cycling has been observed – in 2020, the number of cyclists on winter days grew by more than 100% compared with the 2015 level.
Also, the number of people who use bicycles weekly in the capital of Latvia grew to 27% of all residents. The pace of growth appeared to be even higher during 2020 and 2021 – years during which the Covid-19 pandemic-imposed restrictions were in force in Latvia.
During the pandemic, almost everyone in countries with strict regulations has realised that spending all day without physical activities is hard.
Due to that, cycling has appeared to be a way to get somewhere epidemiologically safely and a superior commute option to public transport or personal cars thanks to the opportunity to have some physical activities a bicycle provides.
However, considering the current infrastructure and the weather conditions during the Northern “dark” months, it became obvious that the cycling infrastructure has to be developed further with the main focus on safety and convenience for cyclists.
The statistics also dictated this value proposition – around 4% of all traffic accidents throughout the year involved cyclists, most of which occurred in areas with a higher car traffic density.
The number of people who use bicycles weekly in Riga
In December 2022, the Riga City Council approved a new Cycling Infrastructure concept that we developed for the 2022 to 2030 period. To ensure the proposal’s feasibility, we conducted thorough market research on best practices, facilitated numerous interest group meetings, organised public meetings, and created several new cycling infrastructure maps.
The concept has been developed by CIVITTA Latvia and CIVITTA Romania. It has been warmly welcomed by local bicycle interest groups, who have named it one of the best yet developed.
The Cycling Concept aims to update the existing Cycling Concept 2030 in line with the objective defined in the Riga Sustainable Development Strategy 2030. It will promote and improve safe and sustainable cycling opportunities in the city for everyday purposes, integrating cycling infrastructure into Riga’s overall transport system and urban environment.
Planned increase of cyclists by 2030
Thanks to the massive expansion in infrastructure volumes and quality, the number of cyclists is planned to increase by more than 400% by 2030. A significant shift in safety will also be made – the number of traffic accidents will drop by 40%, making trips safer for everyone, including pupils and the elderly.
That change is a valuable step towards a greener and safer city for everyone. Moreover, according to worldwide experience, it will also increase the population’s overall health and reduce inequality, improving the overall well-being of the whole nation and each person individually.