Bicycle autobahn opens in Germany

December 29, 2015: Germany has opened its first five-km-long ‘bicycle highway,’ meant for the exclusive use of cyclists. The new bicycle autobahn is wide – four metres – has separate lanes for overtaking and features over- and under-passes when it meets regular roads. The bicycle path is also lit at night and has facilities for clearing of snow during winter.

The stretch is expected to be ultimately extended to 100 km, connecting 10 cities and four universities in the western part of the country. Bicycles – including electric ones – are becoming extremely popular in Europe, especially in the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.

Frankfurt, for instance, is planning a 30-km-long bicycle path, while Munich aims to build a 15-km one for cyclists. Authorities in Nuremberg too are considering plans for a track that would link four cities.

While funding for starting new bicycle highways remains a problem, the German bicycle club, an industry lobby, is demanding allocation of 10 per cent of total federal funding for transport to the laying of bicycle tracks, as bicycling accounts for 10 per cent of commuting in the country.