Tuesday, 5 February 2013


Recently there has been a political row about the Habsburgergasse in the central 1st District of Vienna.  A "journalist" in a "news paper" reported that the Wiener Linien (who are responsible for the fantastic public transport in Vienna) are concerned about plans to open Habsburgergasse to cycle traffic against the one way system.

This was copied (originally including the totally incorrect information that a bus is 3.70m wide) to the ORF Website.

Clearly Public transport is important as is the Safety of Cyclists but what I do not understand is where is the consistency of policy.  How can this 50kmph road be safe for cyclists in the narrow door zone gap?

But in this 30 kmph road the danger be unthinkable?

This is an issue for cyclists because the  pedestrian zones in the 1st district block through traffic. So in one direction the Habsburgergasse (pink line through the grey zone) provides a route for the Bus, cars and cycles.  Going the long legal way around is inconvenient so whether it is legal or not there will be cyclists in Habsburgergasse traveling in both direction.

Cyclists are not allowed to ride amongst pedestrians for safety reasons.  Which would be OK but then in the Ringradweg they are forced together.

In this street you can legally ride against the one way system.  I do it a lot and if a vehicle comes we slow and squeeze past with a bit of mutial respect and there is no issue.

However a professional Bus driver can not be trusted to proceed with caution and respect for other road users for the 80m long narrow bit of the Habsburgergasse?

There is no logic in this policy it is just an example of cyclist bashing and trying to make fights for cyclists against pedestrians or cyclists against public transport, and distracts from the real issue of the design of better urban spaces for people.

I hope a resolution can be found and that the solution priorities people and the place to make the first district less of a car park and more of a beautiful Old City center which is a nice place to walk and cycle around or stop and spend time in.  Public transport should also be a priority but if Wiener Linien are to insist on setting the safety bar so high here lets have some consistency in other districts when it comes to the importance of cycle safety.

1 comment:

  1. Great report here: http://derstandard.at/1361241045540/Habsburgergasse-Krisenzone-fuer-Radler-und-Oeffis