The Israel Bike Association isn’t a quiet or a shy bunch – they make their opinions about the importance of urban cycling known through naked protests and the like. Which is why it is not surprising that they protested the lack of government support for urban biking last week with a green transportation week celebrated across several cities in Israel (and the world). Last Tuesday night around 400 cyclists and roller bladers could be seen on the streets of Tel Aviv, joined by other cyclists riding simultaneously in Jerusalem, Haifa, Kfar Saba, Ra’anana, Ramat Gan and Givataim.
“The dress code,” said Alek Mintz of Tel Aviv Roller, “[was] green.”
The Tel Aviv cyclists rode a 25 km loop around the city, secured by a roller-blading police unit. Other cities observed this green transportation protest in different ways.
Yotam Avizohar, Director of the Israel Bike Association, said that “in every city it’s a bit different, but the idea is that they invite people to take part in green environmentalist [modes of transportation] – like ponies, or bike or Segways or rollerblades or whatever.”
Last week’s event was one of many that the organization plans on holding this year in order to encourage the development of more convenient and safe measures for Israeli cyclists.
“Since Israel is so compact and 70 percent of its citizens live in cities… and unfortunately the public transportation is not that good, biking is really one of the options for tomorrow,” Avizohar said. “We are really optimistic and hope that this year will be a breakthrough year for cycling in Israel.”
The protest took place concurrently with European Mobility Week, during which over 2000 European cities participated in a sustainable urban mobility campaign. September 22nd was also World Car-Free Day, an appropriate complement to a cycling protest.
Read more about cycling in Israel::
Tel Aviv Cyclists Use Their Hot Bodies to Protest the Naked Truth About Urban Cycling in Israel
Israeli Ministry of Tourism to Invest 20 Million NIS in Promoting the Cycling Tourism Industry
Israel Becomes a Nation of Pedalers (Cycling Freaks)
Image via: Or Hiltch