Interview with Maria Vassilakou, Vice Mayor of Vienna on 20 October 2016

Duration: 6 min

Kloss: How do you get people on bikes Vienna?

Vassilakou: The best method to bring people on bikes is when they see how others are cycling. Therefore we invest very much in cycling infrastructure. Especially for beginners it is important that they feel safe at cycling. We invest every year in additional km cycling infrastructure, we expand the bike parking facilities and we invest for many years in campaigns for raising awareness.

Kloss: How realistic is it to reach Vienna’s goal of a share of 10% of cyclists until 2025?

Vassilakou: That’s absolutely realistic, Vienna is on a very good way. For the year 2016 we decided to close many gaps in the cycle path network.

Gruszyk: Many cities in Eastern European countries have no or almost no bicycle paths. How to start the process of building a bicycle path network?

Vassilakou: I can understand this very well, because I was born and raised in Athens. Cities that are at the very beginning of developing bicycle infrastructure should work with colour. It doesn’t have to be necessarily a separately built bicycle path. The advantages are that everybody can see the bicycle path and it is also advertisement for cycling itself. This doesn’t cost much and is affordable for every city.

Creating only a few bicycle paths is not sufficient, it needs a reasonable connected network of bicycle paths. Bicycle streets also don’t cost much.

Kloss: What is the future of urban mobility?

Vassilakou: My wish is that 80% of all ways are done by public transport, cycling or walking, and that the car is only playing a minor role. By 2030 we should achieve this in Vienna. A share of 20% of cars is really sufficient when we use the car only when we really need it.