ANYONE WHO cycles in and around the city of Benidorm regularly will be aware of the cycle lanes that have appeared over the last year or so, particularly the controversial one that runs along the centre of Avenidas Jaime 1 and Alfonso Puchades.
This has been part of the City Hall’s plans to make Benidorm a ‘Bike Friendly’ urban environment, intended to encourage residents and workers to use their bikes to travel into and out of the city rather than cars.
So far, so environmentally good. However until now, there has been a distinct lack of bike racks or stations around the city, leaving cyclists with no option but to lock their bikes against trees, lamposts, rubbish bins or any available railing they can find.
This situation is causing severe irritation to bike users and local residents who are unhappy with cyclists tying their bikes to any object they come across.
One cyclist making a complaint to the council explained: ”I have no choice but to leave it tied to a pole anyway, because there is no place to park nearby and the bar where I work is small and we have no space to put it inside,”
The problem is not confined to the pedestrian streets of Benidorm centre either. The promenades of levante and Poniente beaches and the Avenidas Mediterraneo, Europa or Jaime I also suffer from a severe lack of bike parking spaces.
The City Hall are painfully aware of the parking problems experienced by cyclists in the town and also appreciate the problems have undoubtedly worsened following the new initiatives to create cycle lanes on the main avenues, improve signage, bicycle lanes and campaign to encourage the use of cycles by residents and tourists.
They have even run specific advertising promotions aimed at attracting bike travellers, with the intention of encouraging eco tourism to the urban areas and reduce vehicle congestion.
Head of Mobility for the City, José Ramón González de Zárate January admitted the council had underestimated the amount bike users in Benidorm and had installed 50 bicycle racks in different areas since January with preference in school areas and sports clubs such as the Palau d’Esports.
In addition, there are plans to install at least another fifty more bike parking spaces. “People are using the bike more and more and we want to make it easier for everyone” he said.