Bratislava credits lockdown for cycling surge

Bratislava credits lockdown for cycling surge

During the first wave, citizens were less eager to cycle for leisure for work trips more than made up for the difference

Thanks to elaborate smart tracking systems and to its ability to efficiently and quickly collect and analyze data, authorities in the Slovak capital of Bratislava have been able to determine that their efforts in improving cycling infrastructure across the city have been well worth the time as the COVID-19 pandemic has been responsible for a massive surge in the use of bikes.

Tracking in order to observe changes and adapt

While during the first wave of the pandemic on the Bratislava dam, the number of cyclists, in April and May there were even more crossings in the city centre between the Old Bridge and the SNP Bridge in total than in the same period in 2019. For example, in April 2019 there were a total of 35,000 bike rides, while in April 2020, there were up to 54,240 crossings, which is almost 20,000 more.

Recreational cycling around the Bratislava dam was limited and experienced a sharp drop during the first wave, while citizens instead started cycling more for work or other duties in the centre. As for the second wave of the pandemic, according to available data, it does not yet have any impact on the use of cycling in the capital.

Long-term figures show that investment in (cycle) infrastructure is reflected in the increased use of this type of transport. "Before the opening of the Old Bridge, there were 250,000 bicycle crossings a year on Vienna Road. Now, a month before the end of the year, we are at 418 thousand," explained the mayor of the capital Matúš Vallo.

Data from cycle counters set up by the municipality is continuously updated on a daily basis and can be found on Bratislava’s open data portal - within 24 hours.

The municipality has already installed counters in other busy places - on the Old Bridge in the direction from Petržalka or on the Danube embankment on the Old Town side in the direction from the city. A new counter should be added soon e.g. in the new Niva zone as well as on other bridges over the Danube.



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