Sue Knaup of US cycle advocacy organisation One Street is back from a trip to the Ukraine where she shared her knowhow with sustainable transport groups. The project was led by the Kyiv Cyclists’ Association (AVK) and funded through USAID. Knaup was hired for her campaign planning workshops, and she coached advocacy leaders from twelve campaigns. She delivered workshops in six cities.
Four of the six cities have populations over one million each. Leaders of all the campaigns have since met with their city officials to present their requests.
"Some [of the groups] are calling for new bike lanes, others disabled access on streets and transit, others reshaping streets and public spaces for vulnerable travellers," said Knaup.
“I have never seen that level of professionalism from advocates combined with such passion to improve their cities."
Knaup told BikeBiz: "I started in Kyiv to conduct a two-day workshop for leaders of all the campaigns who travelled there from their cities for the workshop. Then I traveled with one of my colleagues from AVK to four of the six cities: Kharkiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, and Kryvyi Rih. The middle two were the closest to the conflict zone, but still about 100 miles away.
"Two years ago, the conflict zone was closer to all of them, but has receded. And no signs of the conflict except some bulletins calling for recruits, and many merchants selling real military gear for soldiers. Other than that, the cities are thriving and busy with improvements like these we’re working on.
"One of the 12 campaigns is a direct result of the conflict. I didn’t visit their city, which is only 40 miles from the front now. Their campaign is to build a new outer road to accommodate pass-through traffic now that the separatists have taken the old north-south highway near them. Now pass-through traffic within Ukraine is going right through their city on their main street as well as tanks heading to the front. They are calling for the return of their main street including bike/ped improvements.
"And now, after our workshop, they are proposing a beautiful new boulevard for the pass-through traffic – two fabulous roads in one campaign."