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30% of Berliners are already using bikes as their primary mode of transportation

Berlin announces 38-kilometre cycling expressway stretching from east to west

Berlin announces 38-kilometre cycling expressway stretching from east to west

According to the local Secretary for Mobility, it will allow the bicycle to really compete with the car for the top spot in urban mobility

Last week, authorities in Berlin announced the development of a 38-kilometre cycling expressway stretching from the eastern edge of the city all the way to the western end. The new cycling route will run right through the middle of the German capital and will be directly accessible by some 513,000 inhabitants, according to an official statement. The move echoes a similar announcement from Hamburg last week, signalling a well-timed modal shift in large German urban centres. 

The Berlin Permanent Secretary for Urban Mobility Meike Niedbal explained that the ‘Ost-West-Route’ (East-West Route) will pass through six city districts: Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Lichtenberg, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Mitte, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Spandau.

Authorities plan for the route to start at the Berlin-Brandenburg border to the east, in the district of Märkisch-Oderland at the Hönow U-Bahn station and to the west, at the district of Dallgow-Döberitz, again in Brandenburg.

Cycling through Berlin

According to the feasibility studies the city has already conducted, the estimated time for completing the whole route at an average speed of 15 kilometres per hour is two and a half hours. The cycling expressway will predominantly follow the main travel routes in the city, which will make it a quick and covenant way to get around.  

City officials estimate that the expressway could increase bicycle traffic by around 7,000 people per day, which is no small number considering that according to a 2018 analysis, around 30% of citizens already use bikes. Furthermore, they estimate that the expressway can save up to 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

Construction on the western part of the highway is set to start in 2023, while the eastern part – in 2024. Secretary Niedbal explained that the high-speed cycling route will offer more than a new bike lane as projects like this interact with the urban fabric in a fundamental way. At the same time, she stated that cycling traffic needs a way to flow through the city on a grand scale, in order to be able to compete with the car.

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