Munich reveals bicycle superhighway plans

New system would include 14 two-way-traffic bike lanes

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By getting bikes away from cars, the new bike lanes would help ease automobile congestion and promote alternative transportation.

By getting bikes away from cars, the new bike lanes would help ease automobile congestion and promote alternative transportation (click to enlarge).

Munich is making a play for world’s most bike friendly city status. The famed German metropolis recently announced preliminary plans to build a system of cycling superhighways that connect downtown to its sprawling suburbs.

Dubbed Radschnellverbindungen, the proposed network of 14 two-way-traffic, 13-foot-wide bike lanes would help ease automobile congestion and promote alternative transportation. The system would cover some 400 square miles and have no crossroads or traffic lights, making it a fast and efficient way to commute to work or just get out of the city and into the countryside.

Cyclists would be able to move at around 12mph without slowing down on these bike autobahns. The new paths would link the city center with outlying areas using a mix of currently undeveloped land, existing bike lanes and small streets.

The system would cover some 400 square miles and have no crossroads or traffic lights.

The system would cover some 400 square miles and have no crossroads or traffic lights (click to enlarge).

This is by no means a new idea. According to City Lab, the Netherlands already has 28 similar bike-only paths, and cities such as London and Paris have similar projects in the works. These project aren’t cheap. According to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Munich system would run $1.75 million per mile.

But the end result could certainly be worth the investment. Check out the video below of Copenhagen’s Cykelslangen (or cycle snake). Now that’s the way to get around a city.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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  • SpeedyGonzales says:

    That would be annoying as hell.

    • AR says:

      You´d have plenty of alternatives though :

      1- Sit in a car stuck in the trafic
      2- Ride a bike among cars which are stuck in the trafic
      3- Use pubblic trasportation
      4- Stay home

      Cheer up!

  • Freelander says:

    Brilliant idea to move people from cars to bikes and to navigate around a city….. Riding a bike going 12 mph means it is not a race track, it is a viable alternative that promotes healthy physical activity and is more inviting and safer than cycling busy streets full of distractions and distracted drivers. Curious about where the money comes to pay for this infrastructure at a time when many streets and roads are in disrepair.

  • AR says:

    Off-topic, I´m afraid:
    I live in Munich since last November as I was sent over by the company to work at a project with “one” local car maker.
    I ride daily in the office and back home, 2x 14km through the city, from the west side to north side, summer just as winter and the bike path network is quite amazing.
    Just pity that it´s all flat, I really miss some good climbs.

  • KCENDER says:

    A move in the right direction. It’s not if, but when this happens. Too bad it will take so long to filter down to more rural locations where there is at least some scenery.

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