Updated 02:38 AM EST, Sat, Jan 19, 2019

Bike Path in Rio de Janeiro Now Open: Why this could be a Tourist Spot in the Future

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Rio de Janeiro opened its first bicycle lanes in 2014, with the first 3.3 kilometers slated in the downtown area. Back then, Country Director Clarisse Linke said that it was a "major achievement," pointing out that "Bikes can serve as an important connection from mass transit stations to the rest of the city," as per Cities Today.

Just two years later, Rio has opened another stretch of bike lanes that has the ocean on one side, and mountains on the other, linking the neighboring communities of Leblon and Sao Conrado, in the South Zone of Rio.

The beautiful stretch of lane, called the Niemeyer's bike path, covers a distance of 3.8 kilometers with a full view of the sea, and is already being used by locals and tourists alike.

While there are a lot of cities with bike lanes, BBC noted that tourists will especially love them as they are fast becoming one of the most beautiful bike paths in the world.

According to Diario de Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro is now considered to be the largest urban cycling network in Latin America, covering a total of 438.9 kilometers with the opening of Bike Tim Maia. The Municipal Department of the Environment said that the government wants the stretch to finish up to 450km by the end of 2016, a full 300km longer than it was in 2009.

The department also said that as of this moment, there are about 2,500 bike racks in the city, which now corresponds to 5000 vacancies in train stations, subways, barges, and other means of public transportation. Not only does it decongest traffic in public areas, but it also helps minimize the use of cars, which makes for a healthier lifestyle.

Experts say that the opening of bike Niemeyer can be of good use for both locals and tourists, as it provides an important urban connection. However, they said that there is still room for improvement, considering that many of the bike paths are unconnected and lack integration with other modes of transportation.

Bike tourism was already noted as something that can help local economies. In fact, according to Grist, it has a long and honored role in tourism, economy and culture. It is even recognized in the United States, with Wisconsin, for example, bringing in $1.5 billion to their state economy every year. This same amount, if implemented properly, could potentially be a big help to Rio de Janeiro.

What do you think of bike paths in your area? Are you willing to support this mode of transportation or are buses and trains more your thing?

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