Thursday, August 13, 2009

City Betrays Cyclists with Margit Bridge change

Shafted again!! I can't believe the latest news about the debacle of the reconstruction of Margit Bridge. First, budget overruns of some HUF 17.1 billion (EUR 62 million) let the City Council to nix scores of other transport projects, including several bike paths. Now the cycling accommodations on the bridge itself have been squeezed.

Last fall, City Hall and the cycling community agreed on a cycling lanes on both sides of the bridge (as pictured above). The Hungarian Cyclists' Club announced the compromise in November. The one on the north side would have been a dual-direction path to ease access to Margit island while the one on the south side would have been a one-way path going with the flow of Pest-bound motor traffic.

According to the latest plans, explained in this post (and pictured above), the south side accommodation has been removed altogether. (Comepare the photos and see where a cyclist is on the left-hand side in picture one, and missing in picture 2). The north side, bidirectional path is all that remains for cyclists.

This would be a major step back from the agreed plans, which would have finally given cyclists a safe, convenient track on both sides of the street. This would have allowed Pest-bound cyclists to pass over the bridge without wasting their time on each end crossing the street to get to and from the north side path. The hope was that the dual lanes on Margit hid might be a first step in having dual lanes or paths all around the körút. Now these hopes appear in jeopardy. 

Cyclists at have announced a demonstration against this betrayal at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 18 at the bridge. The post said details are to come.

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