Sunday, August 2, 2015

Munich plans bicycle highway system

Munich has significant traffic congestion and one solution city planners are contemplating is a highway system for cyclists:

Now, Munich wants to extend the thrill of the open highway to cyclists with a network of bike lanes running through the city and into the suburbs, in a bid to encourage car-free commuting.

The ambitious plan calls for a network of 14 two-way bike paths, each 13 feet wide and fully segregated from automobile traffic, that would spread out over an area of about 400 square miles. No crossroads, no traffic lights. It’s an autobahn for cyclists, or, as the Germans obviously call it, a Radschnellverbindungen.

Rush hour traffic into and out of Munich is a problem, says Birgit Kastrop, an urban planner working on the proposal. Public transportation is near capacity, so encouraging cycling is a logical way to ease the burden. “This might be a little solution for reducing this problem.”

Munich is densely populated, and whatever space you dedicate to cyclists is necessarily being taken away from other users. Right now, as in so many places, cars take up the most room. “Perhaps this has to change a little. Perhaps they have to give a little space to other means of transport.”

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