Coimbra residents will be able to reach the Atlantic Ocean by bicycle
The beach is 50 kilometers away, but cycling to get there won’t be a problem
Last week, the municipalities of Coimbra, Montemor-o-Velho and Figueira da Foz signed an inter-administrative contract for the delegation of powers to the Intercommunal Community of the Coimbra region to move forward with the Mondego Cycle Route. The project, which should be launched by the end of the year, will link Coimbra to Figueira da Foz, running along the entire Mondego river valley.
Indeed, this means that the inhabitants of Coimbra will be able to reach the Atlantic coast, located about fifty kilometers, simply by using a bicycle. It is a long-held vision of the inhabitants and the local administration.
Will cycle paths become the new highways?
The contract in question was signed at the town hall of Coimbra, in the presence of the Portuguese Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, JoÃ£o Pedro Matos Fernandes. He drew additional attention by emphasizing the need to continue investing in low-emission mobility options.
Apparently, these were more than the usual kind words from a politician. Mr. Matos Fernandes noted that his government has a budget of around 300 million euros to build a thousand kilometers of similar intercity cycle paths by 2030. “It’s a big project and it’s more than just a cycle path for quiet cycling,” he insisted.
In the municipality of Coimbra itself, the Mondego Cycle Route will see the execution of approximately 11 km of cycle paths. The route will start at the AÃ§ude-Ponte, where it will connect to the 20 kilometers of cycle paths that already exist and that go to Vale das Flores and Portela. Downstream, this new section will follow the left bank of the river, next to Estrada do Campo, to the limit of the municipality with Montemor-o-Velho. There it will connect to the remaining Atlantic coast cycle path to Figueira da Foz.
Including the existing and planned routes, Coimbra will soon have more than 50 km of cycle paths fully interconnected with each other. They will and will effectively allow access from peri-urban areas to the urban core. Their main route points include hospitals, colleges, schools, shopping and service centers, and sports facilities.
The above echoes the words of Minister Matos Fernandes that the new infrastructure should not be seen as a leisure space but as a truly practical mobility solution for everyday life.