Populist campaigns about road safety in Ukraine have done little to change a dismal reality. Last year 4,831 road deaths were registered, according to official figures, making Ukraine Europe’s second most dangerous country after Russia. Among the dead were 295 cyclists, or 6.2 percent of all victims.
“Most road accidents happen in the countryside and on high traffic roads in cities,” said Victor Zagreba, member of the Kyiv Cyclists Association.
Despite the inherent dangers of cycling, a bike community can grow in Kyiv, said Iryna Bondarenko, the association’s head. “One in 10 citizens has a bike at home they don’t use. Nearly 30,000 Kyiv residents use bikes to get to work. We want to make our city comfortable for bike lovers, but the infrastructure remains at a low level,” Bondarenko explained.