Brazil's Rousseff calls for "culture of cycling"

10:50, May 31, 2011      

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Monday demanded local governments build more bicycle lanes in the country.

In her weekly radio show, Rousseff commented on the program Path to School, which delivered 30,000 bicycles and helmets to public school students from 81 municipalities, who live in distant regions and have to walk long distances to go to class.

By the end of the year, the program foresees the delivery of 100,000 bicycles and helmets to students from 300 municipalities all over Brazil.

Rousseff praised the use of bicycles as a means of transport, but stressed the need of providing more safety to cyclists and creating a "culture of cycling" in Brazil.

"It is a means of transport which does not pollute the air and allows for the practice of physical activity. Going to school by bike is a healthy activity, but we must have safety," she said.

"If municipalities support this practice by building bicycle lanes, I am sure we will see many other bicycles on the streets, not only the ones given by the government," the president said.

In most towns in Brazil, bicycles do not have specific lanes and have to share space with motor vehicles. Even in large cities, bicycle lanes cover only parts of the urban area. In Rio, for example, they are present in the beach neighborhoods, but not in the rest of the city.

During the radio show, Rousseff also talked about her commitment to build 138 daycare facilities and 454 sport courts in public schools in 2011.

Source: Xinhua

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