Bicycles for 55 million euros. By 2025, 200 kilometers of bike paths are planned between Mestre and Venice

Mistry – Were bikes, scooters or bike paths born first? The correct answer is that bikes were born first, then tracks, then scooters. This is from a general historical point of view. But given the situation in Mestre, bike paths came first and foremost in the sense that bikes were already there but almost disappeared for many years, replaced by cars in no small part with motorcycles and public transport. We must go back in time far, to the post-war years (the second of the twentieth century) to find a city full of cyclists, especially workers who daily come in and out of the large factories of Porto Marghera, even from the neighboring municipalities of the distant Brenta Riviera. Then, with the economic boom, car traffic also erupted and cycling became less common and, gradually, became more and more dangerous.

the shift
Thus, as with canals and rivers, buildings began to turn their backs since builders built them with street-facing facades, even bicycles were almost forgotten. Until the early 1990s, there was little about environmental movements (in this specific case, Viap, the Italian Federation of Environment and Bicycles born in 1989) and little about new commuting habits dictated by excessive car traffic and chaos among citizens. Queues of cars and buses, bikes shyly reappeared. But at this point, if more and more people discovered that crossing the center with a bike was much earlier than crossing the car, on the other hand, it was more and more evident that running two wheels was getting more and more dangerous every day and started thinking about how to split the flows. In Amsterdam, for example, at the bike base in the city center: cyclists have their own bike paths, they are real streets and they are respected by everyone, pedestrians and motorists (apart from tourists).

In Mestre the successive administrations at first bet everything to close the center to cars and create large parking lots which resulted in parking lots remaining empty and traffic jams formed in the suburbs because to get to any point you had to do all over the world. While discussing and trying different solutions, the tracks of the first cycle appeared, at first very slowly: in 1992 there were 4 km, in 2001 there were 38 km, in 2010 91 km, in 2015 they reached 115 km to increase to 147 in 2019 and 171 in 2022. Moreover, from now until 2025 it is already on the construction site, or in the planning and already financing another 25 kilometers of bike paths, so it will reach 196 kilometers overall (with 25 million investment that will be added to the nearly 30 already spent In recent years, with a total of 55 million euros), while the forecast of the municipality of Venice for the next ten years will reach 252 km, with the inclusion of new roads in the cycling class of Pums (The Urban Sustainable Mobility Plan) is currently in preparation. The Brugnaro administration, when it took office in 2015, continued to work on expanding the bike path network, moving it from 115 kilometers to 147 kilometers by 2019, but first of all began to develop a real bike network, such as the road network. It connects all the places of the city and beyond, but is separate from it. To do this, he had to work on existing tracks which showed significant flaws as many tracks suddenly stopped in front of a wall, litter box or intersection, thus not giving the idea of ​​a sustainable mobility system. But it is a mess. , so much so that many cyclists continue to prefer the roads. Parallel to the creation of new sections, the Mobility Department led by Renato Burasso began correcting the existing sections in order to create greater continuity between the different tracks. In this way, a little at a time, a network of city cycle paths was born (as shown in the map that we publish on this page), and the project now is to implement it but also to connect it to the cycle paths from the entire municipal territory (up to Venice as already happened, and also to Chioggia) And other neighboring municipalities, to reach Jesolo, and in perspective, the connection to the course course outside the region and the ability to reach the borders of a country.

Remaining within the perimeter of the city, the aspect that is immediately noticeable by observing the map is that all the paths converge in the center, in a quadrilateral around Piazza Vereto (where you can turn with bicycles and scooters only by holding them by hand and walking): from Piazza Cialdini to Via Pio X, via San Rocco, via Einaudi, then via Circonvallazione, via Verdi, via Poerio, piazzetta Ventidue Marco, piazza Alfonso Coin and again to Piazza Cialdini. This quad is the fulcrum of the city cycle path: here all the municipal bike paths and trails meet, and from here you leave again to reach even the most remote corners of the region. In short, the network center acts as the collector and engine of all sections that can be moved on two wheels.