Cartago to get bike lane as part of larger proposal

The public works ministry plans to build 39.6 kilometers (24.6 miles) of bike lanes over the next three years with a $700,000 donation by the International Automobile Federation.

Some 26 kilometers (16 miles) of the bike lanes already have been announced. They will be part of the project to widen the Interamericana Norte between Cañas and Liberia.

Another project calls for 8 kilometers (5 miles) between San Isidro de El General and Palmares de Pérez Zeledón. In this case gutters on both sides of the road will receive tops that will be used as bike lanes, the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said.

Some 5.8 kilometers (3.4 miles) will be constructed in Cartago. The federation presented the design to the municipality there Tuesday. The proposal is for a bike lane of two meters (6.5 feet) in width. The lane would begin 700 meters (.43 miles) northeast of the Polideportivo de Cartago and pass by the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles and the Colegio Universitario de Cartago, officials said.

Over the next three years, the ministry said it wants to build bike lanes in 10 areas, including Nicoya, Guanacaste, Pococí, Pérez Zeledón, Osa and San Carlos.

Rural highways in Costa Rica usually lack sidewalks, much less room for bikes. Many rural residents use bikes for transportation because they are much cheaper to use than an automobile. However, the bike users have to ride on the traffic lanes in most areas.

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