The City of Tel Aviv has officially joined the European Cyclists' Federation cycling promotion program, also known as the Charter of Brussels.
The Charter of Brussels was introduced in 2009. It is signed by over 60 major cities in Europe, all of which have pledged to promote cycling both through legislating and through creating the proper infrastructure.
Tel Aviv thus joined cities like Brabantstad in The Netherlands, Seville, Spain; Denmark's Copenhagen, Reggio Emilia in Italy, Bulgaria's Varna, Estonia's Tartu, Munich and Budapest; and of course – Brussels.
The Charter of Brussels aims to encourage a change in the city lifestyle and the use of bicycles over cars and public transportation in order to cut air pollution and promote a healthier lifestyle.
As part of the municipal commitments included in the charter, the city will install 15% more biking trails by 2020, and promote cycling safety with aim of cutting down in biking-related injuries by 50%.
The city will also install more orderly bicycle parking spaces, with aim of reducing their theft; and will increase its collaboration with the Israeli bicycle industry, cycling associations and various experts in the field.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai singed the charter on Friday, ahead of the city's "Grand Bicycle Ride" – an annual cycling competition that runs around the entire city and is held as part of its Sukkot cultural events.
The Netherlands Ambassador to Israel Caspar Veldkamp and Belgian Ambassador to Israel Benedicte Frankinet also attended the ceremony.
"We have spent the past decade creating Israel's leading urban cycling grid… and the Charter of Brussels is an official seal to the fact that we mean to keep developing the city as a cycling-friendly one."