Bicycle streets and cycling highways are traffic design elements generally viewed as important means to increase attractiveness of cycling traffic. Since the legal implementation of cycling streets in 2013, Austria has already seen a few of these being introduced with the provinces of Vienna and Vorarlberg as pioneers. Now, the city of Vienna has presented its “Masterplan Cycling Streets” developed by CycleCompetence member komobile.
Cycling streets are among the safest and popular cycle traffic installations. They can particularly promote cycle traffic on streets serving as a main or much frequented cycling route but at the same time are less important for motorised traffic. In Germany many major cities have already marked several streets as cycling streets – Munich, for example, has 60 of them. Vienna still has a lot of unused potential. To help realise it, a comprehensive masterplan was developed which was presented at the Austrian Cycle Summit2019 and of which we can offer an exclusive insight into details.
Prehistory with petition
CycleCompetence member Radlobby Vienna started a petition in 2017 titled „“Cycling streets for every Viennese district!”. It collected over 2000 signatures and is seen as the starting signal for developing the masterplan. Vice major and traffic city councillor Maria Vassilakou confirmed her support for the petition in 2018. She said “cycling streets in all Viennese districts would be desirable” and added by increasing the number of these traffic installations they would “become part of the city’s inventory” which in turn would “lead to a more relaxed attitude” towards them.
The city of Vienna has set a target of promoting sustainable mobility in everyday traffic: Eventually, 80% of traffic is to consist of cycling, pedestrian traffic and public transport. With the now published masterplan cycling streets are to be established as fully adequate solution for cycling connections avoiding busy main roads, particularly in the densely built-up inner-city areas.
Options for realising cycling streets
For all of Vienna options for cycling streets were chosen. These were then discussed in workshops with the relevant stakeholders and evaluated in an assessment matrix according to expert criteria and implementation potential. For an optimal realisation guidelines were issued for public information campaigns that should accompany the measures.
The identified potential cycling streets were integrated into a connected comfortable cycle traffic network. At the basis are the recommendations for implementation the city of Vienna has issued: high cycle traffic volume or high future potential for cycling, strategic position in the cycle traffic network and street widths comfortably allowing overtaking and cycling side-by-side. Streets were dismissed which do not meet these criteria or where disproportionate effort would go into achieving them.
Results and implementation
The map of the analysis for potential cycling streets looks as follows:
The blue lines are part of the existing main cycling network, the green lines are possible cycling streets or cycling-friendly routes.
Every district of Vienna has received its own report on the developed proposals. Now the relevant departments will start implementation measures. In a first step, those projects which improve the cycling network without too much implementation hassle are to be realised followed by evaluation and documentation. As part of the expansion of the southern long-distance cycling route first implementation measures will already be seen this year between Neu Laa and Leopoldsdorf. The following streets will be affected:
- the Bahnlände from Favoritenstraße to Weidelgasse
- the Franzosenweg from Weidelstraße to Wilhelm-Pinka-Platz
- the Radnitzkygasse from Rosiwalgasse to Himberger Straße
- the Rosiwalgasse from Radnitzkygasse to Roubiczekgasse
- and the Roubiczekgasse in the section Rosiwalgasse to Liesingbachstraße
At the Cycle Summit 2019 in Graz Thomas Berger of the Vienna department MA 18 (city planning) and Olivia Kantner from komobile presented the masterplan cycling streets. The whole presentation (in German) can be found here.