The heat of May has got the Capital Region cycling once again. Cycling really is a great form of traffic: it helps you keep in shape and is environmentally friendly, pleasant, cheap, equal and often the fastest way to move around in the city. At its best, cycling can even make moving autonomously possible. We are celebrating all of these advantages of cycling from 5 pm onwards on 25 May in the Critical Mass Helsinki event, in which a group of cyclists pedal from Otaniemi in Espoo to Suvilahti in Helsinki via the higher education campuses along the route.
The Critical Mass Helsinki cycling event wants to focus attention on the fact that cycling infrastructure in the Capital Region is not yet ready to attract more people to hop on their bikes. Cycling on cross-town routes in particular is challenging in many ways. Clear routes and signs are missing, maintenance of the routes is lacking, and the fragmentary nature of the routes complicates cycling near municipal borders.
Although the cross-town cycling routes have room for improvement, some positive developments have also occurred in the Capital Region in recent years. The city bike system, which expanded to Espoo this year, makes it possible for anyone to move around in a new way and makes it easier to smoothly combine public transport and cycling. In fact, the city bike system should be expanded to cover the main routes of the entire Capital Region in the future.
Promoting cycling in all its forms is wise for both the general benefit of society and the economy. Helsinki has calculated that one euro invested in cycling yields 7.8 euros, primarily in saved time and health benefits. To claim these benefits on a large scale, we need investments in smoothly continuing cycle routes and lanes in addition to the city bike system. Cycling safety must also be increased by making cycling as a form of traffic equal to motor traffic with traffic arrangements and by ensuring that there are enough safe bike stands where people dare to leave their bikes all over the region.
Critical Mass is a cycling event organised in over 300 cities all around the world on the last Friday of each month. In the event, people meet in a preannounced location at a preannounced time and cycle through the city together as a group. The goal is to enjoy cycling in a group. Critical Mass also highlights the disparity between street space reserved for motor vehicles and for bikes.
Critical Mass Helsinki is jointly organised by Helsinki Cyclists, Helsinki Bike Kitchen, the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY), the Aalto University Student Union (AYY) and the Student Union of Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied
Sciences (METKA). Anyone interested in cycling – regardless of age, gender, health or anything else – is warmly welcome to join us!
More detailed information on Critical Mass Helsinki itself can be found in the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/822699934595036/
Saara Louhensalo ([email protected])
Helsingin Polkupyöräilijät ry
Lauri Seppäläinen (040 6515656)
Aalto University Student Union
Viestintäasiantuntija / Kommunikationsspecialist / Communications Specialist
+358 50 543 9609
Helsingin yliopiston ylioppilaskunta (HYY)
Studentkåren vid Helsingfors universitet (HUS)
Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY)
Mannerheimintie 5 C, 2. krs, 00100 Helsinki
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