Skopje, August 24 — The Municipality of Centar received the title of the most bike-friendly municipality in Skopje and its surroundings for 2023 - a recognition that is being introduced this year by the Association of Citizens Center for Sustainable Initiatives together with the group of enthusiasts #NaTochak.
As the organizers announced, the scoring of the municipalities was done based on a developed methodology. At the same time, numerous activities that the municipalities worked on for cyclists during the period 2021-2023 were taken into account, and the information was requested through a public information request. In addition, a public survey was conducted.
"Even though the jury committee unanimously decided that the Municipality of Centar should be declared the winner, they won a total of 49 points out of a possible 100. This shows that even though the municipality is mostly committed to providing conditions for the citizens, there is still a lot of room for improvement", the organizers say.
The award from the public went to the Municipality of Aerodrom, which won the most points in the online survey completed by more than 1,000 citizens.
The Municipality of Ilinden won the prize for the rural municipality with the greatest progress. In addition to these three, the jury committee decided to award two more awards - for the most connecting municipality and the municipality with the greatest potential.
"Special recognition from the commission was given to Gazi Baba Municipality for the creation of a bike recreational infrastructure along the Vardar River, which also serves to connect with the municipalities of Aerodrom, Centar and Karposh. The Municipality of Petrovec, on the other hand, received recognition as the municipality with the greatest potential due to the demonstrated interest in investing in the bicycle infrastructure through the construction of the first bicycle path in the municipality", the organizers added.
Evaluating the bicycle infrastructure, almost half of the respondents (48.2%) stated that there were no new investments in the last year and a half.
Darko Arsovski from #NaTochak pointed out that one third of the respondents (37.4%) also stated that their municipality does nothing for the safety of cyclists.
"A large part of the citizens who shared their opinions with us say that they do not feel safe to ride bicycles with a child seat or for children to ride alone, stressing that it can be particularly risky", Arsovski pointed out.
Meri Bakalova Stojanova from the Center for Sustainable Initiatives hopes that this selection will continue in the future.
"We would like to emphasize that the purpose of these awards is for the municipalities to increase their commitment to improving the bicycle infrastructure, and thus to climate action, through a positive example", Bakalova Stojanova said.
One of the main conclusions of the public survey is that citizens are not satisfied with the number of publicly available bicycle parking lots and even consider the existing ones to be dysfunctional.
All the winning municipalities were presented with statuettes, handmade by the volunteers in the Carpentry Educational Workshop.