NEW YORK, NY/USA (18 January 2000) -- In an effort to increase rates of global cycling, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP)--whose board members include Ariadne Delon-Scott of Specialized and Jay Townley of Townley and Associates and the Bicycle Council--recently convened several
meetings with top government and foreign aid offices, including the World Bank and the United States-Asia Environmental Partnership.
"It's huge that the world's largest development institution is recognizing the importance of cycling in its policy documents...[and] more importantly, actually
starting to fund large-scale projects that seek to increase global bike
use," said Townley. "The Bank is looking for a comprehensive and
prescriptive 'franchise' package that they can insert easily into any
Bank project that calls for a bicycle transportation component."
The Bank's funding could include campaigns to reduce regressive tariffs, the subsidization of initial shipments of bicycles, the provision of technical support and training to new retailers and distributors, and establishing retail outlets in undeserved areas.
Historically, the World Bank, has focused its US$40 billion annual budget more on large infrastructure projects than on cycling. However, in the last the Bank has started to fund a few large bicycle projects in areas like Bogota, Columbia, Lima, Peru and Maputo, Mozambique.
In a follow-up meeting the bike delegation proposed several potential projects, including Bank-funded mountain bicycle business development initiatives in several west African countries, South Africa, Peru and Indonesia. (JW)