The reason for their request is that Plovdiv is in the top rankings for dirty air in the country every year. One of the reasons is heavy car traffic, which is responsible for exhaust gases in the air, which contain sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and needs. For this reason, Plovdiv needs alternatives for transport that meet the requirements for environmental friendliness.
Another reason is the benefits of cycling – reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases; regulation of blood pressure and cholesterol level; body weight regulation; strengthening the locomotor system; reducing stress and regulating the nervous system; improving respiratory health, etc.
According to citizens, the availability or lack of bicycle parking spaces can significantly influence people’s choice of whether to travel by bicycle. Cyclists also pointed out the main problems for the infrastructure in Plovdiv:
– The bike lane ends at underpasses with stairs or steep ramps that require the cyclist to pass as a pedestrian. Apart from the delay caused, such places are insurmountable for cyclists with a child in a seat, with a trailer or a tricycle and make it very difficult for parents with children with their own bicycles;
– Lack of clarity on right-of-way when crossing boulevards. Road users are not aware whether the cyclist has the right of way when crossing a road on a cycle path;
– Security issues. When the alleys are on the sidewalk, pedestrians often walk on it, dogs are walked on leashes, creating a risk for both pedestrians and cyclists;
– The places shared with pedestrians impose movement at walking speed and create inconvenience for road users;
– Lack of bicycle traffic lights. In general, the lack of road signs and traffic lights confuses cyclists and other road users;
Cyclists also outlined specific problems on the cycle paths in Plovdiv
– On Maria Luisa Blvd., parking is allowed, the bike lane is very narrow and it is possible to get pushed if someone opens their car door just as you are passing. Proposal: Widening the driveway from the sidewalk
– Control of parking on and near bike lanes and the movement of motor vehicles on them
-Bull. “Nikola Vaptsarov”, which not only has to be crossed to ride on the bike lane, but also in the section from “Stefan Stambolov” to “Chorlu” street is a two-way road. Also there, the sidewalk is “inconvenient” for pedestrians and they regularly walk on the bike lane. Proposal: Renewal of pavement;
– Crossing Ruski Blvd. requires going around the intersections three times, due to the presence of barriers in front of the alley. Proposal: Installation of bicycle traffic lights at intersections;
– The bicycle path in front of the Central Station starts from the sidewalk. Proposal: Inclusion in the alley from the roadway;
The bicycle lane on Iztochen Blvd. after the intersection with Maria Luisa Blvd. begins with a 10 cm curb. Proposal: All curbs should start at zero level;
They propose that the bike lanes be built on the road (note – as, for example, on “Maria Luiza” Blvd.), separated so that it is not possible to park on them and they are safe for the cyclist.
They also propose to build routes to the surrounding villages – Tsaratsovo, Benkovski, Trud, Krumovo, Branipole, Markovo, Parvenets, Skutare and Yagodovo.