As Rio de Janeiro gears up to host the Summer Olympics, construction of the second phase of the city’s coastal bike path remains underway, with plans to have the full path completed by July. Named Ciclovia Tim Maia after the famous Brazilian singer, the 3.1-kilometer extension of the path will connect the city’s Southern Zone (Zona Sul) to the Recreio neighborhood in the city’s western zone. When completed, the path, which is used by cyclists and pedestrians, will run 36 kilometers between the coast and the city’s busy coastal roads, and will link the city’s south zone with the western neighborhoods of São Conrado, Joá, Barra de Tijuca and Recreio. The Brazilian Municipal Department of the Environment reportedly aims for the city to have a 450-kilometer cycling network by the end of the year – up 300 kilometers from 2009.
Built over a year and a half, the Ciclovia Tim Maia has reportedly cost the city of Rio de Janeiro R$458 million ($128.5 million).
In January of this year, the city inaugurated the first phase of the Tim Maia bicycle path, which connects the previously isolated São Conrado neighborhood with the popular neighborhood of Barra de Tijuca. Since then, the path has been criticized for the lack of policing or surveillance, which has resulted in nighttime assaults on cyclists and pedestrians.
The bicycle path marks one of many infrastructure projects underway in the city ahead of the Olympics later this year. The Rio Games, which are slated to take place in August, mark the first time that a South American country will host the Summer Olympics.
In March, the city reported that its much-anticipated metro stations at Jardim de Alah and Antero de Quental – part of the city’s fourth metro line – were on their way to being completed, with expectations that they will open for testing in May. The stations, which have been under construction for three and a half years, witnessed numerous setbacks, including delays and increased costs. The completion of the metro in time for the Olympics is seen as key to ensuring that traffic in the city remains smooth, especially important because of the metro line’s connection to the Barra neighborhood, where more than half of the Olympic competition sites are located.