Friday, April 22, 2016

Cycling ban to be lifted on Szentendre Route 11

After years of being closed to cyclists, Route 11 in Szentendre will get advisory bike lanes.
It sounds as if the ban on cycling on Route 11 in Szentendre will finally be lifted. However, the timeline is murky and public authorities have made no public announcement on the matter.

Last week, a technical plan for the changes was presented in a closed-door meeting of stakeholders, including the Hungarian Cyclists' Club (MK).

As MK's staff engineer Miklós Radics explained in Facebook post, the ban will be lifted, but the road will be given only minimal cycling accommodations.

"They plan wide outside car lanes (at least 4.25m or more) with bike sharrows," Radics wrote.

Radics explained that the Szentendre section of Route 11 is not wide enough to accommodate the existing cars lanes and proper bike lanes. So the plan instead calls for sharrows, otherwise known as "advisory bike lanes", which motorists can drive on legally. An example of sharrows in Budapest are on Margit Bridge -- they're marked with chevrons and cycling pictograms rather than a solid line separating cyclists from motor traffic.

"It's not the best and most bike-friendly solution, but it's still a big step if we compare it with the nonsensical prohibition," Radics said.

"Moving the curbs and redesigning the whole road won't happen in the coming years. The municipality and the road maintenance company (Magyar Közút) will co-fund the budget for the repaint."

The plan was based on a study by the engineering consultancy Tandem Kft. on a commission by Szentendre City Hall.  Staff from Tandem revealed the study's results and recommendations last week to a group of select stakeholders, but neither City Hall or Magyar Közút have make any public announcement on the subject.

A representative from the Szentendre branch of the Hungarian Cyclists Club said they would prepare their own announcement on the scheme in the coming days.

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