Germany unveils first stage of $200m “bicycle autobahn”
Germany has built the first 5-km stretch of what could become a 100-km cycling highway in its northwest Ruhr region.
The “cyclebahn” will connect 10 towns including Duisburg, Bochum and Hamm, as well as four universities.
Some 2 million people live within 2km of the bicycle-only route, and it has been estimated that it could take 50,000 cars off the streets every day.
The road is 4 m wide, comes with overtaking lanes and lighting, and will be cleared of snow in winter.
The 5-km track was half funded by the European Union, with the North Rhine-Westphalia state contributing 30%, and development group RVR investing 20%.
Martin Toennes of RVR said: “Without (state) support, the project would have no chance.”
The German Cyclists’ Federation (ADFC) says that 10% of journeys in the country are taken by bicycle and appropriate funding should be given to cyclists.