The Local Germany (22 July 2015)
Cyclists’ commute into Munich could fly by in the future if planners decide to opt for elevated “bike motorways” – car-free routes that literally lift cyclists above the rush hour jam.
With no designated cycle paths, cycling into Munich from its surrounding areas isn’t for the faint-hearted.
However, this could all be about to change, reports Süddeutscher Zeitung.
The Planning Association for Suburban Munich (PV) has announced that it may soon introduce “bike motorways” into the city.
These specially designed routes already exist in Denmark and Holland – and on Friday, experts will carry out a survey to see just how feasible the idea is in Munich.
If the plans come into effect, Munich could see cycle ways of around 5–15 kilometres long and 4 metres wide, meaning cyclists can enjoy routes free of crossroads and traffic lights.
Yet the cost of this luxury will be high, with experts estimating that the cycle ways will cost about €1 million per kilometre.
PV will carry out feasibility studies on six potential bike routes into the city.
One important criterion: the routes must connect highly populated areas with employment zones, colleges and universities, and the city centre.
“The way things stand at the moment, we’re recommending a pilot route between Munich and Garching [a city around 15km north of Munich],” said Birgit Kastrup, PV town planner.
“We’re hoping that more people will choose to travel by bike rather than car when the new route is up and running,” she added.
Martin Glas, Chairperson of the General German Cycling Club, sees the idea as having plenty of potential.
“Up until now, it’s been a painstaking task for cyclists to make their way into the city,” he said.
Yet, although small segments of similar bike motorways have been created in the Ruhr Valley, plans for Munich are still very much in the theoretical stage.
And with expected costs of €1 million per km, it could be some time before cyclists are enjoying these elevated routes into the city.