Bike Policy in Graz: On the Road To “Soft Mobility”
Martin Kroissenbrunner, head of the department of transport planning of the city of Graz, on the current activities and projects concerning cycle traffic in Graz from a traffic planning perspective.
Pioneering Achievements and Current Projects in Graz
The more cyclists ride their bikes in a city, the better it is for them and for the general public: health, sustainable environment and energy, quality of life, cost savings and loads more on the positive side. The city of Graz, with its many students, bike-friendly climate and a “soft mobility” traffic-policy, has always been fertile ground for the development of creative solutions focused on cycling in Graz. Cycling in both directions on one-way streets, a speed limit of 30 kmh on all minor roads, partial access to pedestrian zones and the first Austrian bicycle station are among the city’s pioneering achievements. Each year, Graz expands its cycle routes, and urban developments always take the growing network of thoroughfares for cycle traffic and pedestrian traffic into consideration.
In 2015 alone, there are plans to construct the long-awaited 1.6 kilometre pedestrian and cycle path on Wetzelsdorferstrasse and to start on the Eggenberger Gürtel, where it’s proposed to have another 1 kilometre of pedestrian and cycle routes. They’ll also be finishing the pedestrian and bike paths under construction as part of the flood barrier along the Andritzbach.
Mobility Management – Comprehensive Planning for Cyclists as Well
Graz also boasts many activities in the areas of mobility management, mobility education and information. Here, Graz also plays a leading role in Austria. It was part of this strategy to cooperate with Bike Citizens and to provide the Bike Citizens app for free. The signing of integrated mobility agreements with investors will see safe and protected bike parking places agreed in sufficient numbers, as well as attractive, public thoroughfares. The work carried out each year with schools in Graz includes many city-financed projects involving cycling (school mobility management). In addition, 4th year students at all Graz elementary schools have for many years had training in preparation for a cycling proficiency test. There have been several competitions for business mobility management at local companies, with the focus here too on everyday cycling. Go to www.graz.at/, for useful information on such things as the mobility strategy, mobility management and cycle traffic.
Explore Graz with CityRadeln (city cycling)
Since 2010, the Transport Planning Department of the city of Graz – in addition to the annual “Tour de Graz” on “Car-free Day” – has been organising the popular CityRadeln five times a year. The streets are blocked off to motorised transport for short periods to allow cycling through the city. Some 9,000 bike fans have completed these tours that are just under 20 kilometres long. They allow riders to experience Graz from an otherwise rare perspective and to be inspired to keep doing so. These popular tours will also be held in 2015 – you’re most welcome to come along!