10 February 2011

Cycle Chic Hungary 2010

What a fantastic film from our friends at Hungarian Cycle Chic, wrapping a year of cycle chic in Budapest.

There are a handful of cities out there that serve as an inspiration to the world in the way they have gone from no bicycles to an armada of bicycles and Budapest is one of them. (Paris, Barcelona, Bordeaux, Seville are among the others). A mere five years ago the city was as car clogged as anywhere else and the percentage of people cycling hovered below 1%. Now they're at 5% and rising. It has been a combination of implementing the all-important separated bicycle infrastructure and passionate advocacy based on promoting cycling positively.

Bicycle planning consultants will usually say that getting from 0% to 5% bicycle traffic is the hardest step of all for a city. After that it's a bike ride in the park. Getting from 5% to, say, 15% is much easier. Cars still dominate in Budapest and the traffic makes a North American city look calm and civilised but change is in the air. The revolution is underway.

Budapest has adopted an approach that is close to our hearts and that is something we write about over at Copenhagenize.com - promoting cycling positively and aiming the promotion at Citizen Cyclists - potential bicycle users, as opposed to the existing sub-cultures. Cycle Chic Hungary works closely with the Hungarian Cyclists Club to develop campaigns that sell cycling to the mainstream. Just look at the kind of films they produce - they're brilliant.

The film, above, is a testament to the hard work the bicycle advocates are doing in Budapest. Citizen Cyclists - and a whole lot of Cycle Chic - are redefining the urban space.

Budapest is also famous for its Critical Mass, or rather Civilised Mass. There are two of them a year and the one I rode in featured 20,000 people on bicycles. It was a slow day. The record, I believe, is 80,000.


Bulcsú said...

Thanks for the nice words in the name of Budapest! I'm only a student,but i ride my bike since September 2010. I think these blogs like cycle chic,critical mass and other are very inspiring and after you started there's no way back :)

Have a nice ride!

Zsabor said...

The all-important separated bicycle infrastructure? WTF?
Most of it in Budapest is absolutely dangerous and unusable. It also offers a great way to get cyclists out of car drivers' way.
For those rebel-minded bikers who would still use the road, there's a new law requiring them to ride on the separated "infrastructure" (which was in many cases built with a bucket of yellow paint)
Here, you can see a portion of Eurovelo 6:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the nice word, I also feel we are on the right way. Unfortunately most of the local and country leaders are against us or neglecting us. But we hope the rise in number of cyclists will make them convince on the long run.

It gives a lot of power to us that you show us the good example in Copenhagen! Thanks!

Feri from Budapest

Kristin Tieche said...

I love it!

I love Budapest! I looks even more fun than when I visited in 1991!

I'm half Hungarian. These are my peeps!

kfg said...

Look at all the cruisers. There is a certain irony that it took the death of Schwinn as a company to begin spreading the style they invented across the world.

There is also a certain irony that the style was overtly intended to be an ersatz substitute for a motorcycle, but so many people prefer the pedal powered substitute for the "real thing."

Anonymous said...

Nice video! Could you please tell me what's the music of the first vid? I loved it! Thanks a lot!!

aronman said...

u can find the credits on the end off the vid:)