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November 13, 2005

Huge Critical Mass in Hungary possibly largest in history

In Sept.  Hungarian Bike messengers, assisted by other, non-cycling related, groups organized a show of numbers to send a message to Hungarian Officials about the need for better cycling facilities in the country.

Budapest, Hungary has experienced its greatest Critical Mass bike ride ever on September 22, 2005. Estimates range between 24,000 and 30,000. This would therefore also make it one of the greatest Critical Mass rides in history.

Budapest, Hungary has experienced its greatest Critical Mass bike ride ever on September 22, 2005. Estimates range between 24,000 and 30,000. This would therefore also make it one of the greatest Critical Mass rides in history.

The last year has seen a mushrooming participation in Critical Mass rides in the Hungarian capitol. The initial breakthrough came on World Carfree Day in 2004, when 4,000 riders participated. This was followed by an Earth Day Critical Mass ride on April 22 of this year with a staggering 10,000 people. The trend is still in progress. Bicycle messenger groups are in a large way to credit for organizing and publisizing this event. Otherwise organizations like the Hungarian Young Greens (Zöfi) and Clean Air Action Group have also helped in the organization.

This is especially good news for the city of Budapest, as it otherwise does not have a very good bike lane network, nor is motorized traffic usually very respective of cyclists. So far the city government has not showed very much interest in bike riders, but this is now changing, as the talk of the town has turned to bikes and Critical Mass.

To view 2, minute long, videos of the event check out the article on Indybay.

At least one commenter on the proceedings is a bit cranky about this.

Some guy named Steven wrote that "This was no way to help the cause."

Didn't Critical Mass start as a movement to promote more biker and pedestrian friendly streets in and transportation in North America? European cities are already very biker and pedestrian friendly. It is driving a car there that is a pain in the ass. 30,000 bikers in Budapest will in no way help get SUVs out of American suburbs create larger sidewalks in urban centers or whatever you are trying to promote.

Well, as you can imagine, a few people responded, but the best thing about the message board where I found the comment was the large number of wonderful photos of the event in Hungary.

From all appearances it looked peaceful, and everyone got along with the cops.

The folks in New York could learn from this. ;-D

November 13, 2005 in Critical Mass | Permalink

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Great post!

Posted by: John Carter | Aug 28, 2018 1:01:27 AM

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