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City in Bolivia passes law making it compulsory to ride bikes

Citizens of Cochabamba will be required to use bike for local trips once a week

A city in Bolivia has passed a law that will make it compulsory for residents to ride a bike once a week instead of using other means of transport to get around for their everyday trips.

Beatrice Zegarra, the councillor who proposed the law in Cochabamba, the South American country’s fourth largest city and home to some 600,000 people, hopes that it will come into force early in the new year.

The legislation was approved by the city council’s Committee for Urban Development, Planning and the Environment last week, reports Bolivian news website, Opinion.

It is aimed at not only reducing pollution, but also at improving the health of the city’s residents by introducing them to the benefits of using two wheels to get around, as part of promoting healthier lifestyles.

The law also provides for the construction of a major new cycle route, upgrading of existing ones, the provision of cycle parking at public and private workplaces and other institutions, and cycle training in schools.

Last month, the country’s president Evo Morales participated in a Day of Pedestrians and Cyclists in Defence of Mother Earth, held nationwide since 2011 but first instituted in Cochabamba a decade ago.

Each year, the day sees all motorised traffic in Bolivia halted for eight hours, leaving the streets free for people on foot or on bikes.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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