North Korea has installed bike lanes on major roads in Pyongyang, the country’s capital and largest city. The new lanes appear to be an effort to reduce the number of bike accidents, Reuters reported Monday.
Cyclists in the country are prohibited from using urban roads and, before the lanes were installed, shared the sidewalk with pedestrians.
“This causes a lot of accidents and collisions, and as a result, people ride slowly and ring their bells very frequently,” Simon Cockerell, who works for Koryo Tours, a tourism company that takes Westerners into North Korea, told Reuters.
In a country where very few residents own a car, bicycling is a popular form of transportation and one that is on the rise. Cockerell estimates that the number of cyclists in Pyongyang has grown by 50 percent in recent years. The new lanes offer a safer environment for those who commute by bike.