“Critical mass”. Cyclists “forced” the creation of bicycle lanes

critic mass

Oleksiy Kogan, Pavlo Klymenko, Oleksiy Galtsov, Olexandr Prokhorov


Odessa, April 27, 2015 – Oleksiy Kogan, Pavlo Klymenko, Oleksiy Galtsov, Olexandr Prokhorov, cycling activists, told at a briefing on the purpose of public cycling “Critical mass”.


Oleksiy Kogan said that the “Critical mass” – is a worldwide movement that began in the US city of San Francisco in 1992. It was designed to show that cyclists are the same road users like pedestrians and drivers that they have the same right as motorists travel on the roads, but without disturbing each other.


“Critical Mass” was held in different cities and countries. As a rule, try to choose for this last Friday of the month. But the residents of Odesa decided to do it on a Saturday afternoon to collect more people. According to the activist, in May of last year in our city for the first time gathered 300-400 people, and this gave rise to such actions in Ukraine.


The second “Critical mass” has collected about 2,500 cyclists. This year it was the first “mass”, and all it took place in Odesa for the sixth time. According to rough estimates, and this time came around 2500 people. The basic idea of ​​the action – to get people to mutual respect on the road. The second idea – to show the authorities that we do not have any road conditions for cyclists, and encourage them to change something.


Pavlo Klymenko said that this year’s “Critical Mass” was held on the same day in Odesa and Kyiv. The activist expects gradually, with each “mass”, they will join other cities, drawing attention to the need of cycling infrastructure throughout Ukraine. In Odesa, it does not exist at all. Also it is necessary to draw attention of motorists and pedestrians. After all, they too are interested in a good road infrastructure.


According to Pavlo Klymenko, earlier in Odesa was Cycling Maidan movement. Scheduled for mid-May a small event, timed to the Days of Europe. Activist explained why participants of the event put on a yellow T-shirts: “Because it is the color of the sun, in cycling the leaders wear yellow, also it is the color of the holiday, and just looks nice. Last year, our marshals had blue shirts, the remaining yellow and it was very symbolic”.


Oleksiy Galtsov drew attention to the following. For many, the bike is sport equipment. For others – it is a means of obtaining pleasure. But for many, the bike is just a vehicle, very convenient and environmentally friendly. It is possible to go to work, run courier services. In this regard, the city needs a bicycle infrastructure, especially the bike paths.


According to the activist creation of such an infrastructure at the same time increase the tourist attraction of the city, because many of the guests, who visit Odesa, greatly surprised that we did not do anything for cyclists. Therefore, the “Critical mass” has as its main objective to develop this infrastructure in the city. Have a project and a number of decisions on its development.


Olexandr Prokhorov said that the city authorities finally paid attention to cyclists. In November of last year, was created a working group at the City Council, which participates in the work and invites the activists. Have a project, though not yet final. April 30 executive committee may adopt the draft development of bicycle paths for this year. It is planned to build a ring in the center of the first stage. At its subsequent plan – to connect with sleeping areas of the city. Connected, according to Olexandr Prokhorov, to the work of designers and urbanists also architects, who want to help make Odesa bike, because comfortable city in the world – it is a city with a developed bicycle infrastructure. Next “Critical Mass” will be held May 30 – in Ukrainian Bicycle Day. To participate in the action is enough to have a bike, desire and good mood. Column accompanies traffic police and marshals, so the safety of the participants is provided.