Cyclists to be able to breeze past traffic lights to get to work on time

The Transport Ministry is to invest heavily in new “cycle autobahns” which will allow cyclists to breeze past traffic lights and junctions on their way to work.

Cyclists to be able to breeze past traffic lights to get to work on time
Photo: DPA

“In order to support cycle traffic, the federal government has increased its budget for cycle paths from €60 million to €100 million per year,” Norbert Barthle, a spokesperson for the Transport Ministry told the Rheinische Post on Monday.

“In 2017 the federal government will promote special cycle paths with an extra €25 million. These will be little cycle autobahns for those people who want to get to university or work without going through traffic lights or junctions,” he added.

Germany has already started building a cycle autobahn in the western Ruhr region.

The project started in 2015 will stretch over a 100km distance between the cities of Duisburg, Bochum and Hamm when it is completed.

Transport officials estimate the cycle road will take 50,000 cars off the road every day in the congested part of North Rhine Westphalia.

Frankfurt also has plans in the pipeline to build a cycle highway down to the city of Darmstadt, 30km to the south.

In the capital Berlin meanwhile the city government is planning a cycle highway from the city centre to the leafy western neighbourhood of Zehlendorf.

The new routes are a luxury upgrade from the ageing single-lane bike paths common in many German cities, where tree roots below can create irregular speed bumps and a mellow cycling lane can suddenly end or, more alarmingly, merge into a bus lane.

The new type of bike routes are around four metres wide, have overtaking lanes and usually cross roads via overpasses and underpasses. The paths are lit and cleared of snow in winter.

On its 200th birthday cycling is experiencing a “real moom in Germany”, Barthe told the RP.

“People are discovering the bicycle as a real alternative to being stuck in traffic or overcrowded regional trains. E-bikes are selling in record numbers,” he said.

SEE ALSO: Six reasons why I never want to drive on the Autobahn again

With AFP