The provincial government of lower Austria wants to double the share of cycling and pedestrian traffic from 22% to 44%. For this, the necessary framework has to be created. In mid-March mobility provincial councillor Ludwig Schleritzko presented the “Strategy Active Mobility” as a basis. Cycle Competence member Verracom was part of the team filling this strategy with content. It comprises five areas of activity underpinned with various measures. One of it are the very ambitious basic cycling networks. In the high-potential region Mödling-Nord, con.sens Mobilitätsdesign is working on its foundations.
“Lower Austria is known as a province of commuters but as yet it is not known as a province of pedestrians and cyclists”, said provincial councillor Schleritzko. The “Strategy Active Mobility” comprises five fields of action. Priority is placed on infrastructure as basis for increasing the share of cycling and pedestrian traffic. “People are only cycling or walking once a connection without major detours is available and only if you can use it without being afraid,” the councillor stressed.
Subsidy for cycling highways and basic cycling networks
Two central measures in this field of action are cycling highways and basic cycling networks. In a total of 37 regions with high potential a basic cycling network will be defined for main routes for cycle traffic in cooperation with the municipalities over the coming months. From this specific expansion projects will be developed. Con.sens mobilitätsdesign was tasked together with the engineering office KH13 from Perchtoldsdorf to work on the first region with high potential: Mödling-Nord. This is made up of the municipalities Perchtoldsdorf, Brunn am Gebirge, Maria Enzersdorf, Gießhübl, Hinterbrühl and Mödling. Over the coming years, several kilometres of cycling infrastructure and a cycling highway are to be built there.
con.sens mobilitätsdesign taking measure in the high-potential region Mödling-Nord
Another field of action is multi-modality. Over 40% of commuters in Lower Austria have to cover a distance greater than 20 kilometres on their way into work. This would be suitable for combining public transport and a bicycle. In future, the province of Lower Austria will only subsidise renovations of train stations if the re-design includes a connection to cycling and pedestrian paths. The current number of 23,000 Bike&Ride spaces is set to increase to 30,000 by 2025. All train stations with more than 2,000 people getting on trains per day will additionally be fitted with bike boxes.
Train station in Wieselburg (Lower Austria) with bike box made by Cycle Competence member Innovametall: The project won first prize in the VCÖ-mobility awards Lower Austria 2020verk
First cycling budget for Lower Austria approved
The “RADLand Niederösterreich”, which translates as “Cycling Province Lower Austria”, also designed measures to increase awareness. It created a separate service point for active mobility which is to focus particularly on cycling. All these measures need funding, Schleritzko noted. Therefore, for the first time, Lower Austria has approved a separate cycling budget. This could trigger investments for active mobility of up to 100 million euros over the next ten years.
The first 346,000 euros for new bike lanes were allocated in February to two areas neighbouring Vienna – Günselsdorf (district of Baden) and Gerasdorf bei Wien (district of Korneuburg). The municipality Allhartsberg was granted 232,400 euros in March for starting the first construction phase of a bike lane along the L92 street. St. Andrä-Wördern got 100,350 euros for expanding the Bike&Ride system. For building a new Bike&Ride station in Ternitz, the municipality was granted 124.000 euros.
Provincial councillor Ludwig Schleritzko, Julia Krenn, expert from the Lower Austrian road service and Werner Pracherstorfer, provincial traffic planner, are presenting the new strategy. It can be downloaded here.
Photos: Land NÖ, ENU, cvp