by Waste Warrior Walim Mardassi (Tunisia) and
Sustainable SME Master Jun Piong (Philippines)😄
As the CIPSEM program nears the end, the participants also get crazier in excursions. At the end of this blog post, you will know what we did last summer.
We have shared in a previous blog entry how cool it is to cycle around Dresden ( Cycling and Picnic along the Elbe). Yet, the German municipalities are continuously developing platforms to encourage bicycling as a healthy lifestyle and as a mitigation measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On 14 June 2019, the CIPSEM administration, led by the cycling enthusiast and transport psychologist Dr. Angela Francke and assisted by Fabian Heidegger, organised a biking tour for the CIPSEM EM-42 participants to show how the City of Dresden established an enabling environment towards the integration of cycling in the transport and mobility system and how the residents participate in advancing this cause.
Angela objectively selected the cycling route for the critical experience and analysis of the participants on the infrastructural planning and development of the cycling road network and facilities. The group took off to its first stop, the Grosser Garten. There, the participants learned the importance of the park and its natural landscapes as a healthy place for cycling and recreation. The tall trees and the chirping birds on them, the long network of roads and its road signs, and the beautiful scenery of the Palais Grosser Garten castle all make up a good environment for cycling, especially for families.
The next stop was in the residential area at Comeniusstrasse,where Angela and Fabian demonstrated the safety measures for pedestrians and cyclists in street curves and crossroads by freeing the road sides from obstructions of parked cars. This was reinforced by implementing strict compliance to maximum speed of 30 kph for cars. From this stop, the group then went on to the Johannstadt Nord, an area where trams, buses, cars, and bicycles converged. Here, Angela shared how the cycling enthusiasts lobbied the safety measures for the cyclists through the installation of road signs, clearing the road sides from illegal parking, and improving the road markings.
The group then moved on to the next stops by cycling across the Kaethe-Kollwitz Ufer down to the Elbe Radweg. The Elbe Radweg (English: Elbe Cycling Route) is part of an international network of cycling routes all over Europe. It is integrated in the system of currently 37 river cycling routes in Germany and is claimed to be the most popular route for cyclists in the country. Here, Angela showed a cyclist counter installed in the cycling path to gather data on the number of cyclists passing the Radweg. Gathering the data will aid the City authorities improve accessibility for cyclists and the needed infrastructure support.
En route to the supposedly another stop, we made a stopover at the Faehrgarten Johannstadt which is situated directly on the side of the Elbe river. The original purpose was for a toilet break but the sight of locals drinking beer and frolicking on ice creams and refreshments enticed the participants to have a shot and join the locals in enjoying the refreshing sight. And to the surprise of everyone, especially Angela, the participants immersed with time that they forgot their fellows using the taxi waiting in the next stop. (Yes, non-bikers used the taxi in joining the cycling tour). Realising about this, we hurriedly finished our beers and refreshments, grabbed the bikes and cycled to the last stop that summarises the whole trip… the Altstadt Centre, in Post Platz.
There, the EM-42 participants went wet and wild as if they finished a Formula 1 race. But instead of the sparkling wine being popped, the participants frolicked like kids under the cold shower of the red square arc… a well-deserved finish after the grueling cycling under the warmth of summer.