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Traffic turnaround: ADFC selects the most bicycle-friendly cities

The bicycle club ADFC and Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) honored the 25 most bicycle-friendly cities in the Federal Republic of Germany on Tuesday. The crown of the ADFC bicycle climate test 2020, for which 230,000 cyclists nationwide voted, goes to Karlsruhe with a school grade of 3.1 among cities with over 100,000 inhabitants. The city has thus defended the first place it won in 2018, ahead of Münster (3.2) and Freiburg (3.4).

In the class of cities over 500,000 inhabitants Bremen ranks first with a rating of 3.6, which is no longer entirely satisfactory, closely followed by Hanover (3.7). With the same rating, Frankfurt moved up to third place, where it replaced Leipzig. Berlin received a “special price for tangible improvements” during the corona pandemic after the Senate Administration in the capital had set up many pop-up cycle paths since spring.

With the exception of Dresden and Bremen, all cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants have improved slightly from 4.08 to 4.02 in 2018. In Munich, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf, too, cyclists noticed “tangible signals for more bicycle-friendliness” during the epidemic. This includes measures such as the establishment of bicycle lanes, traffic-calmed zones or bollards to protect against through traffic. In Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, the participants praised the better control of parking offenders on cycle paths.

Only smaller municipalities in the class up to 20,000 inhabitants such as Wettringen (2.0), Reken and Rutesheim received good grades. In communities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, Nordhorn performed best with 2.6. Overall, the satisfaction of cyclists with an average grade of 3.9 for their place of residence remains at a low level. 80 percent of those surveyed find bike lanes too narrow. A lack of illegal parking controls is a problem for 75 percent. 69 percent generally do not feel safe when cycling.

Two thirds of the participants stated that Corona had increased the importance of the bicycle. This is confirmed by the sales figures in the bicycle trade with sales increases of around 60 percent in the past year. Significantly more cyclists have been counted at the municipal counting stations since the outbreak of the pandemic. However, most of the respondents did not see any tangible improvements for cycling during the pandemic: they gave it an overall rating of 5.0.

“We now need comprehensive cycle path networks across the country,” demanded ADFC Vice Chairman Rebecca Peters. “The window of opportunity is wide open.” The federal states and municipalities would have to quickly use money from the “Stadt und Land” and “Radnetz Deutschland” programs for infrastructure expansion. “The money is there,” assured Scheuer, “by 2023 we will provide the record sum of 1.46 billion euros.”

“The traffic turnaround and cycling are making headway, not because of, but despite Andreas Scheuer’s transport policy,” said the transport policy spokesman for the Green parliamentary group, Stefan Gelbhaar. The funds that the minister “claims to be generously donating to cycling are only a fraction of what the federal government is investing in road construction”.

Scheuer’s road traffic regulations, which should bring a few improvements for cycling, are “factually ineffective”. The funds for cycling must be further increased and, above all, stabilized. Of the Bicycle climate test is the largest global cycling satisfaction survey. A total of 1024 cities were rated in the current ninth edition.


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