Super cycling: Moving fast over long distances

High-level cycling infrastructure currently is in the international spotlight. In all of Europe fast lanes for cyclists with high-quality requirements, claiming a significant share of traffic budgets, are designed. The Viennese planning criteria for long-distance cycling routes have been published. This shows that high quality needs just as high requirements on future use of space over land as well as the necessary willingness to redistribute space in narrow inner cities. From a cycle politics point of view the question is always where to draw the line in a good compromise.

Based on the model cycle nations Denmark and The Netherlands countless initiatives for fast, high-quality cycling infrastructure is developed all over Europe: The fast cycle lane “CykelSuperstier” in Copenhagen, the “Cycle Superhighways” in London and the fast cycle lane along the German river Ruhr “RS1” are among the most well-known projects, which are already being implemented.

Particular mention is given internationally to the budgets for these projects: London is building the second, improved generation of the Cycle Superhighways, for more than a billion euros, Norway’s cities are given €850m for fast cycle lanes, Paris is investing €150m in doubling the cycle path network including the creation of inner-city fast cycle lanes.


Dutch examples: Cycle highway Nijmegen-Arnhem

Vienna is planning long-distance cycle paths

Also the Viennese cycle path network is to be made more attractive by so-called “long-distance cycling connections” or „Rad-Langstreckenverbindungen“. The Cycle Competence member traffic planner Rosinak & Partner has developed three cycling routes for this commissioned by the city of Vienna. In future those are to connect the surroundings of Vienna better – i.e. with optimized journey time and at a high quality – with the city centre. Recently, quality criteria for long-distance cycling connections were published on the city of Vienna’s website making them available for discussion among experts.


The requirements in the envisaged category “excellent quality” are high given the intended width of four metres for two-direction cycle paths. In the compromise area the two metres width or mixed traffic with no more than 30 pedestrians per five minutes have already led to debates. All details and notes HERE.


The Vienna mobility concept (“Fachkonzept Mobilität”) which had been passed by the Vienna municipal council in December 2014 schedules the Route South to be the first to be useable by 2018 in the envisaged quality. Until 2025 further routes are to be created, especially the Route North and the Route West. A continuation of the long-distance cycle lanes into the surrounding area was coordinated with the province of Lower Austria which is encircling Vienna to fit the Lower Austrian long-distance cycle planning entitled “RADLGrundnetz”.

Swiss velotracks

In Switzerland a research project on indications for the planning of cycle fast lanes (Velobahnen, i.e. velotracks) in cities and agglomerations is currently under way. (German title: „Hinweise für die Planung von Veloschnellrouten (Velobahnen) in Städten und Agglomerationen“) Michael Szeiler of Rosinak & Partner is conducting an expert review as external adviser. The Swiss results and recommendations are eagerly awaited. Cycle Competence Austria will present them as soon as possible.

Velobahn Helsinki NZZ

Finnish cycletracks in its capital Helsinki as model for Switzerland?
(Pic: Keystone via NZZ)

You can find  the Viennese criteria for long-distance cycling connections HERE (german)


Posted on April 28, 2016