"Orange Bike Week", Veliaj: 7 years ago, Tirana did not have any meters of bicycle lanes, today it has 52 km
In 'Dutch Week', the Municipality of Tirana and the Embassy of the Netherlands organized "Orange Bike Week", an activity to promote bicycles in the city, as well as raising public awareness to reduce car use. Mayor Erion Veliaj said that the change comes slowly, but the mass increase of bicycle lanes in Tirana, where today there are 52 km, and the organization of car-free days every Sunday, is great news for everyone. Also present at the event was the Ambassador of the Netherlands in Tirana, Reinout Vos.
"Tirana is growing at a rapid pace and we have to make a decision: Either we will make the city the largest parking lot in the world, with 200 thousand cars, or we will find alternative ways to move. In the 4 main bicycle lanes of "In Tirana, 18,000 cyclists moved in one day. The question is this: Is it better for these 18,000 people to be cycling on the road, or by car? If they were by car, there would be more traffic today," he said. Veliaj.
Regarding those who say that bicycle lanes have narrowed the car lane, the mayor replied: “It is an urban legend to say that bicycle lanes have narrowed the car lane. "Not only has the road not been narrowed, but on the contrary, the cyclist is the biggest ally for drivers as well, because if he had chosen to drive, he would also have increased the traffic in the city."
In the end, the mayor invited everyone to suggest to their friends the use of bicycles, while noting that 7 years ago there was no bicycle lane in Tirana, while today there are 52 km and that will be added even more a lot.
"Each of you," he told young cyclists, "should set an example." The best media is neither television, nor radio, nor Facebook, nor Instagram, nor TikTok; the best media is a boy or a girl who tells another boy or girl that you have to pedal. "For all those who say 'it can't be done', I tell you that 7 years ago we did not have any meter lanes, today we have 52km of bicycle lanes, but we can go even further", Veliaj explained.