Almaty's commuters have a new choice. Since last weekend, the sidewalk on central Abai Street has been divided into lanes for cyclists and pedestrians, offering two-wheelers a safer alternative to the chaotic, traffic-choked streets of Kazakhstan’s financial capital.
The new bike lanes are the first in a planned 40-kilometer network that will snake alongside some of the city's main traffic arteries. The first section runs from KIMEP University to the city's Central Stadium. The routes will eventually follow Dostyk and Zhandossov streets through downtown.
Yesimov has made tackling the city’s chronic traffic problems central to his tenure, undertaking a massive project this year to widen central arteries. The city also wants to present its best face to the expected international inflow when the 7th Asian Winter Games – to be held in Almay and Astana – open on January 30.