Belarus Adopted the Concept of the Development of Cycling

In the belarusian cycling there was an event of the republican level –  in the country the National concept on the development of cycling has been adopted. What does it mean, what are the advantages and disadvantages in it and how will the ECF-member Minsk Cycling Community help to realize it to local authorities?
The Standing Committee on Road Safety at the Council of Ministers of Belarus adopted the Concept of the development of cycling in Belarus. The concept contains two sets of basic indicators of achievement until 2030 –  safety and amount of bicycle using.
–  The concept indicates that to bicycle movement there is attention at the national level, –  said Pavel Harbunou, chairman of the board of the Minsk Cycling Community. – The national concept provides guidance to regional and local authorities in the creation of urban and regional plans for the development of cycling, and bicycle activists have the opportunity to rely on it in lobbying the interests of creating a bicycle infrastructure.
One of the indicators indicated in the concept is an increase of using bicycles in proportion: cities with a population of 50 thousand people or more –  up to 8 - 10%, in cities with a population less than 50 thousand people and urban-type settlements –  up to 15-20% , in villages and settlements –  over 40%.
It should be noted that the current using of bicycle in the capital of Belarus Minsk is constantly growing and has already exceeded of 1%
– The declared 8-10% for Minsk is quite a lot. This is about 500 -700 thousand trips per day for various purposes in the warm season, –  comments the indicators Pavel Harbunou. –  But it is quite achievable. To compare, for example, in Warsaw this number today is 4%, the current number of trips in Berlin is about 13-15%. In the European strategy, which is currently being discussed, most likely, there will be an indicator about 12% of trips by 2030 on average across the cities of the European Union. So our goals are quite modern.
If we talk about the shortcomings of the concept of cycling, Pavel Harbunou noted its declarative character.
Work on the implementation of the concept is already underway. So, from the next steps, the Ministry of Architecture and Construction is developing a bicycle standard. Now regional executive committees should develop their regional plans for its implementation.
In order to support local authorities, the Minsk Cycling Community sent them proposals for regional plans to implement the republican cycling concept.
The development of the concept was entrusted to the Ministry of Transport and Communications in the summer of 2017. The Minsk Cycling Community was included in the working group on its development and many proposals of the experts of the Minsk Cycling Community are taken.