Sidewalks will be reserved for pedestrians only, Source: City of Helsinki Data Bank / Veikko Somerpuro

Helsinki makes more space for pedestrians in suburban areas

Helsinki makes more space for pedestrians in suburban areas

It will remove bicycle lanes from the sidewalks of 150 streets

On 21 October, the Finnish City of Helsinki reported that it will remove bicycle lanes from the sidewalks of several streets in the suburbs. In other words, it will give pedestrians more space to walk safely and freely, without fearing that they may end up colliding with a cyclist.

150 streets with low speed limits

The decision to modify the lanes comes after the capital conducted a survey to find the streets and zones that would allow cyclists to ride their bikes safely on the main roads. The findings of the study revealed that 150 streets in suburban areas fulfil the necessary criteria. Expanding on this, the change will apply to streets and zones where the speed limit is 30 kilometres per hour and the number of vehicles ranges from a few hundred to around 2,000 per day.

In a press release, the City of Helsinki shared that bicycle lanes had initially been created for the safety of cyclists even in quiet suburban areas. Now, however, cycling is seen not only as a form of exercise but as a method of transport that is equivalent to driving a car. Thus, the Finnish capital believes that the bicycle deserves a space on the road, alongside other vehicles.

“The low speed limit and the supporting street layout reduce driving speeds, which supports safe and smooth cycling on the roadway. Coordinating the needs of bicycle traffic and other vehicle traffic indicates to road users that they are moving smoothly,” says Jouni Korhonen, a leading traffic expert from the City of Helsinki.

The capital will install new traffic signs during late autumn and throughout the winter to match the changes it seeks to make. As such, cyclists can begin riding their bicycles on the roads from the end of this season. One can view the 150 streets which will be affected by the change on the municipal website.

By directing bicycles to the streets, the City of Helsinki makes more space for pedestrians and ensures the safe and smooth movement of all.



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