Adac and adfc criticize poor cycle paths

adac and adfc criticize poor cycle paths

In rare unity, car and bicycle lobbyists criticize the cycle paths in german cities.

Around one in three cycle paths (36 percent) does not even meet the minimum width requirements, according to the german automobile club (ADAC), which based its findings on a recent random sample. "Only one in five bicycle lanes reached or exceeded the standard widths."

The auto club had tested 120 routes in the five state capitals with the highest and the five state capitals with the lowest proportion of traffic accounted for by bicycles to see whether the existing cycle paths could cope with the ever-increasing volume of traffic. The munich-based company used the current recommendations as a yardstick, according to which, for example, a bike path that can only be used in one direction should be at least 1.60 meters wide, but normally two meters wide.

"Even the target width of 2.00 meters is still clearly too narrow in our opinion. 2.50 meters is the minimum width for us, and 3.00 meters is the target width," emphasized burkhard stork, federal managing director of the german bicycle club (adfc). He not only complained about the space on the bike paths: "almost all the bike paths are not paved with asphalt, but with stones. They are often in very, very poor condition, often broken up by roots."

Furthermore, stork emphasized when asked: "to our knowledge, there is no city in germany that reasonably clears snow from the bike lanes. And when autumn arrives, no city can clear the leaves properly. It’s dangerous, it’s slippery, you often can’t see exactly where the bike path is."

The lack of space is all the more noticeable. According to the ADAC test, only kiel achieved a good overall rating with a focus on the width of its bike paths; not a single route failed there. Bremen, dresden, erfurt, munich, saarbrucken, stuttgart and wiesbaden received an "adequate" rating. Hanover and mainz received an "unsatisfactory" grade. In the state capital of rhineland-palatinate, reviewers rated 70 percent of the routes as poor or very poor.

ADAC and ADFC disagree on whether the pop-up bike lanes that became known in the wake of the corona crisis and were set up in some places to cope with the sharp increase in the number of cyclists are a good idea. ADAC traffic president gerhard hillebrand emphasized that the interests of all parties involved must be taken into account when planning cycle paths. "Redistributing traffic space hastily, for example by pop-up bike lanes, is not the right way to improve the flow of traffic and ensure greater safety in the long term."

ADFC man stork, on the other hand, emphasized: "it’s international standard to try out such projects for six months – does it really have a congestion effect, is it accepted, can the parking spaces be eliminated?. That’s smart."