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The future of German Cycling Highways

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(© Dirk Michael Deckbar)

On May 30th the German Cycling Union ADFC organized a “parliamentarian evening” in Berlin. The event focused on the future of cycling highways in different regions of Germany.

 

After an introduction of Ulrich Syberg, director of ADFC, three speakers shared their insights in a keynote session. Michael Groschek, Minister for Infrastructure of Nordrhein-Westfalen proudly presented the plans for the 101 km long “RS1 (Radschnellweg 1)” and pleaded for more funding from the federal government. Furthermore Groschek emphasized the importance of city logistics by bike.

The benefits of a project like RS1 were presented by consultant Dr. Wolfgang Röhling. According to his estimates, the completion of the Ruhrgebiet cycling highway would result in economic profits in the long run, mainly due to lower construction and maintenance costs.

Finally urban planner Stefan Bendiks (Artgineering) presented existing projects in the Netherlands, encouraging German politicians to follow their example. Bendiks made clear that cycling highways like the Rijnwaalpad have positive outcomes for car drivers and decrease congestions in both rural and urban areas.

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(© Dirk Michael Deckbar)

At the end of the program, secretaries of the federal government (Mr. Barthle and Mrs. Schwarzelühr-Sutter) joined a heated panel discussion about the funding of future cycling projects. While everyone agreed on the benefits of cycling highways and the fact that Germany is lagging behind, there were disagreements on the flexibility of the government’s involvement in regional projects.

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