Monday, December 1, 2014

A game changer for the körút?

Parked cars are pushed into the interstices along the edge of the sidewalks. That'd give room for continuous priority bike lanes alongside the Nagykörút
Budapest could have a reasonably bike-friendly Nagykörút with small investment and minimum offense to motorists, according to a new proposal posted by the Hungarian Cyclists' Club.

The proposal would make space for priority bike lanes alongside the curbs of both sides of the road. The parking spaces currently on the  curbs would be shifted onto the sidewalk, between the trees, advertising pillars and signposts.

This solution would probably come at the expense of some parking spaces, but the proposal's authors say the loss wouldn't be significant. Pedestrian space would also be conserved as the empty space along the curb doesn't carry foot traffic.

The post describes the scheme as a temporary fix -- and I'd agree that having parking spaces up on the sidewalk is a bit awkward and unattractive. The holy grail would be to reprioritise the körút for tram users, pedestrians and cyclists and to reduce the volume and speed of car traffic.

However, the proposal would be a huge improvement over the current situation. Right now, cycling on the körút is unpleasant and frightening for most people. Having a bike lane would attract a much bigger segment of  the biking population, and provide needed links between the increasingly bike-friendly neighbourhoods in inner-Pest.