Thursday, August 18, 2011

Twelve more km of bike routes

Handy file photo of improvements to Varsányi Irén utca in May 2009 
With help from the European Union, Budapest will add 12.4 kilometres to its bike-route network by October.

The planned cycling routes, targeted at commuters coming from the outer agglomeration into the centre, are to be completed by October, according to a report in kerekagy.

The project is expected to receive HUF 694.4 million (EUR 2.6 million) of which HUF 439.6 million (EUR 1.63 million) will come from the EU.

The new routes would add substantially to the city’s existing cycling infrastructure, which runs approximately 187 km, including lanes, dedicated bike paths and other routes. The new bikeways would comprise six separate sections in districts III, X, XVII and XXI.

One route would improve cycling commutes from Csepel Island toward downtown along a 2.9 km stretch of Szabadkikötő út. With a link across the Danube on Kvassay Bridge, it would include two, secure, 30-place bike racks en route.

A second route would run 1.2 kilometres, joining Csepel Island to Pesterzébet across the Gubacsi Bridge. It would include new 32-space bike racks in three places.

Then on Pesti út, two routes would be created in two phases to allow better access to the Metro stop at Örs Vezer tér. Of these two routes, totalling 6.9 km improvement, 2.7 km would be a signed route along low-traffic side streets. Seven bike racks would be installed along the way for a total 66 bikes.
A fifth bike roadwork would connect Kőbánya központ with Örs Vezer tér along a 1.5 km section of Fehér út.

The last element would be in Óbuda, with a bikeway along Bécsi út and Nagyszombat utca. Of this, 800 metres would be a painted lane and 1,400 metres would be a signed route. Along this route, 14 racks for a total of 160 bikes would be installed.

(If this was as tedious to read as it was to write, you can see the maps here.)

During a press announcement, David Vitezy, Managing Director of the Budapest Transport Centre (BKK), indicated that cycling investments would be guided by a more strategic vision than in the past. Infrastructure shouldn’t be built route by route, but rather as an integrated network, he said.

Part of the reason for a more focused approach is an impending investment in a new city bike-sharing system. Comprising 1,000 bikes and 74 docking stations, the system is scheduled to open in the spring of 2012 at a cost of EUR 4.79 million.

“With that many bikes, there’s already a need for a new traffic order,” Vitezy said.

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