Germany Opens First Stretch Of A 60-Mile Bicycle Highway

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by Amanda Froelich at trueactivist.com

 

Germany is making every cyclist’s dream a reality by opening its first bicycle-onlyhighway. The protected roadway, which will one day extend 100 km (60 miles), recently had its first three miles opened tobicycle riders.

Reports Phys, a bicycle highway is an entirely separate roadway where cyclists can zip along on without needing to worry about car traffic. Typically, they are around four meters (13 feet) wide, with passing lanes, and overpasses and underpasses for crossroads.

Similar to roads intended for car traffic, a bicycle highway has its own streetlights and will be cleared of snow in the wintertime.

It’s ingenious – and exciting, which is why the protected roadway is the first of many planned to be developed in Germany.

The Autobahn is intended to benefit those who commute on their bike, therefore, connects 10 western cities (including Duisburg, Bochum, and Hamm, as well as four universities, relaysInhabitat.

To make use of existing infrastructure, disused railroad tracks will be transformed into wide bike-only roadways in the Ruhr industrial region.

Credit: Shutterstock

Credit: Shutterstock

According to a study conducted by a regional development group (RVR), opening a bike highwayshould take 50,000 cars off the road each day, as nearly two million people live within two kilometers (1.24 miles of the route).

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Earlier this year, Europe’s first bicycle highway was approved in London. Now, others are in the work in the Netherlands and Denmark. Frankfurt is reportedly planning a 30-kilometer path south to Darmstadt, and the Bavarian capital of Munich is plotting a 15-kilometer route into its northern suburbs.

It’s an intelligent investment, many argue, as encouraging cycling not only benefits the planet, it produces a healthier populace thanks the benefits reaped from getting active outdoors.

Unfortunately, the impressive development hasn’t been without its difficulties. When it comes to financing, for example, the federal government is typically responsible for roadworks and waterways. Cycling falls under the management of local officials.

In effect, it has been difficult raising enough funds to support the venture.

Credit: Phys.org

Credit: German Bicycle Club ADFC

Says Martin Toennes of the development group RVR: “Without (state) support, the project would have no chance.” He says many local governments would have difficulty paying for maintenance, lighting, and snow removal.

Good thing, then, a proposal is in the works to get 180 million euros ($196 million) from the federal government to fund the entire 100-kilometer route.

Let’s hope that in the future, bicycle superhighways become the norm in all countries!

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!


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6 COMMENTS

  1. Bikes roads for everywhere would be the way to go.
    Thanks to projects like this North America will have an easier time to follow suit.
    Benefits benefits benefits

  2. If funding is a problem there might be a fix for that. In the US, Texas allows certain stretches of highway to be maintained by the public. We call the system “Adopt a Highway”. For readers not in the US states, a person or organization can “purchase” or rent a mile or two of the road, a sign will be posted when you enter the adopted area stating who is caring for it, and they use their own time and resources to mow grass, pick up trash, plant trees and flowers, and make sure potholes and other road damages get repaired. I am not sure who is financially responsible for the major repairs, but the Adopt a Highway plan cuts out a lot of costs that the state or cities would have to pay.

    I do not understand or know anything about German Law, but possibly they could promote a similar program where their local people can adopt stretches of the bike highway. If the bikeway is completed, I’m sure the people that really want to use it will be more than happy to pitch in to keep it nice. For example, in America we have Churches, Schools, Human Rights activists, Animal Rights Groups, a few stray Wealthy families that want to give back, and Athletic programs Adopt sections of our highways. It all ends up stimulating the community, not just the local economy.

    Best of luck with the Bike Highway, Germany!!

  3. Wait, this is a world first?

    In the Netherlands the bicyclists have their own seperated cycle path for more then 50 years…

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