University of São Paulo: Cidade Universitária bike lane encourages healthier and more sustainable habits

This morning, January 19th, University officials and representatives of cyclists groups met to officially inaugurate the new cycleway system of Cidade Universitária.

“It’s not just the opening of a bike lane, it’s a change in attitude. The University is prioritizing the pedestrian, it is contributing to changing our behavior to make the campus more sustainable and friendlier”, said Dean Vahan Agopyan.

The system comprises almost 30 km of cycle lanes, which are already interconnected to the bicycle network of the city of São Paulo through Gates 1 and 2. Central Organs – and the installation of paracycles. The project for the cycling system of Cidade Universitária began to be implemented last year and the total investment was R$ 3.4 million.

“This road cycle plan is being implemented with all the technical requirements of legislation and good cycling practice. After its definitive implementation and with the use by the community, some adjustments may be necessary. I believe that this delivery, in addition to increasing the sustainability of the campus , can be an example for other cities and university campuses to evaluate the possibility of adopting active mobility”, explained the mayor of the USP Campus of the Capital, Hermes Fajersztajn.

To encourage the use of the new bike lane, the Campus City Hall prepared a publicity campaign that is already being broadcast on digital clocks and urban furniture at Cidade Universitária. According to Fajersztajn, “our expectation is that, with the return of face-to-face activities and the need for the community to move between several buildings, the use of cycle lanes will increase. In addition, the appeal of health and environmental benefits is very strong among young people – the age group that makes up a large part of our community – and this tends to increase the use of bicycles”.

Priority for pedestrians and cyclists
One of the main features of the new system is the priority given to pedestrians and cyclists. Measures such as reinforcing road signage, reducing speed to 40 km/h throughout Cidade Universitária and reorganizing vehicle parking are among the actions taken to increase the safety of bicycle lane users.

Another novelty is the cycle lane with parallel parking for vehicles. This model – currently adopted on Luciano Gualberto, Lineu Prestes and Lúcio Martins Rodrigues avenues – is suitable for roads with high demand for parking spaces, because, in addition to maintaining spaces, it offers greater protection to cyclists.

The cycling system is one of several improvements and infrastructure works carried out recently by the City Hall of the Capital Campus . “One of the main functions of the Campus City Hall is to guarantee the necessary infrastructure for the functioning of the University’s core activities. However, many of these services are invisible, especially those aimed at maintaining the heritage and prolonging the useful life of the structure, and only end up being remembered when they are not performed correctly and cause problems”, explains Fajersztajn.

One of these invisible services was the structural restoration of the Clock Tower. Inaugurated in 1973, in the heart of Cidade Universitária, the Clock Tower is USP’s main postcard and, symbolically, guides and dictates the rhythm of academic life. It consists of two reinforced concrete slabs 50 m high and 10 m wide each.

Last year, the Tower’s first major maintenance was carried out since its opening. In all, R$300,000 was invested in scraping, recomposing, waterproofing and cleaning the two concrete slabs, and restoring the stairs and safety structure.

Another initiative by the City Hall was the renovation of approximately 35 km of sidewalks, stairs and floors, both in common areas and in the areas of some Units on the campus , in addition to the restoration of banks and bus stops. In addition to valuing the spaces, these works are important to improve accessibility throughout the University City.

In 2021, it was also possible to hire a company to work in the maintenance and operation of the campus ‘s electricity network . Among the services performed are the maintenance of pedestal transformers, cleaning of inspection wells in the primary energy network, and maintenance of the primary cabins of all Units and the medium voltage circuits that supply them.

“An interruption in energy services impacts the operation of laboratories, vivariums and computer park of all Units, including the University Hospital. This is one of the invisible services that, I hope, will guarantee greater tranquility for work in all locations of the University City”, said the mayor.

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