Berlin Superhighway to Ensure Time is Right for Switch to Cycling

Berlin, Germany

A new east-west cycle superhighway to cross Berlin is expected to enable cyclists to make the 38km journey in about the same time as cars.

The new “high-speed bicycle route”, from Hönow through the city centre and out to Spandau, was announced recently by the city’s state-owned cycle planning company, Infravelo.

A statement by the company said it was expected cyclists would be able to cover the 38km in about two and a half hours – about the same time as cars but eliminating around 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year by encouraging an estimated 6,700 car drivers to switch to bicycles every day.

Infravelo says the project is expected to cost about €58 million (A$85 million), with the planning approval process for the western end to begin next year and for the eastern section the following year.

The east-west superhighway is among 10 high-speed cycle connections planned for the German capital, with feasibility studies recently completed for each route.

Infravelo’s goal is to create 100km of high-speed cycle connections in Berlin by 2030, to make commuting by bicycle more attractive to people who would otherwise travel by car.

The rapid cycleways will be an average of four metres wide, separated from the adjacent 2.5 metre footpaths, will take the most direct routes and, as much as possible, avoid intermediate stops for riders.

To accommodate the east-west cycleway, the roads it follows will be narrowed in a number of sections, including reducing one section of road from six lanes of traffic to four.

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Does Berlin’s planned cycle superhighway up the ante for bike infrastructure as a way to encourage more people to switch to bikes for commuting?

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