Good morning folks, we hope you’re having a smashing week. The week before last we had our final city visit for our CARMA project and so had the pleasure of a trip to Parma. We thought you might like to hear more about what cycling in Parma is all about.
The City of Parma has restricted traffic access to their historic centre which quite frankly makes it a joy to walk or cycle around. It’s hard to imagine cyclists and pedestrians coexisting in the busy parts of London, so how do those Italians manage it? Well, Parma is the home of the slow food movement, and the philosophy of doing things slowly doesn’t seem to be limited to food. They simply cycle slowly, only just faster than walking pace, and there appears to be a mutual respect with folks giving way to each other.
Once you venture outside the central city Parma takes care of its cyclists by providing some top notch facilities. Around roundabouts they have installed segregated lanes, with cars giving way to cyclists crossing their paths. There are some great looking lanes leading out to residential areas, and cycle only phases on busy traffic lights.
So all this has meant that a lot of people in Parma have taken to two wheels. Their modal share is hovering at just over 10%, and we saw all sorts of people cycling- Mums and Dads carting their kids about, older folks meeting their friends in the park, elegant business people in their suits and of course with Parma being home to a large University… lots of students. These people use their bicycles to carry all manner of things, and have every practical addition you can imagine on their bikes. We even saw one man with a wind shield and wind screen wipers on his bicycle!
The food, the weather and the cycling in Parma were just fabulous so we’d highly recommend it for your next weekend break.
Thanks very much to Zsolt Kilian for the use of his beautiful photos!