During the Napoli Bike Festival in June, consultant Danny van Beusekom – at the request of the Dutch Cycling Embassy (DCE) and on behalf of Goudappel Coffeng – discussed the opportunities offered by cycling.
Along with representatives of the Napoli Bike Festival, the city of Naples, and the Dutch embassy in Rome, Danny took part in a debate about the benefits of cycling for the city of Naples and its residents.
Danny van Beusekom explains: “This was the festival's 8th edition and the focus during the event has slowly been shifting from cycling for pleasure to cycling as a mode of transport. The economic aspects (benifici economici) of cycling are receiving greater attention. We've talked about how cycling is cheaper and healthier and how the construction of bicycle parking spaces would benefit local business.”
There are truly plenty of possibilities for investing in cycle routes to encourage bike use in Naples, which already has its fair share of air quality and road safety challenges. “Businesses still seem to be having cold feet. They think that if people cannot get to the city centre by car it will have an impact on sales. But from our experience in the Netherlands, we know that the opposite is true: city centre businesses have seen sales go up, especially where the public space has a pleasant look and feel. With hindsight, businesses are very happy that cycle networks and facilities have been put in place.”
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