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Germany Opens First 5 Kilometers of its “Bicycle Autobahn’

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Germany opened the first 5 kilometers of its ambitious 100 kilometer Bicycle Autobahn in Mulheim an der Ruhr region last week.

Indeed, the first stretch of the €200,000 bikeway was unveiled, making good on its promise of no signal lights, cars and trucks, and nothing to prevent cyclists from enjoying an unhindered passage along the new section.

According to the developers, when the Bicycle Autobahn route is completed, ten municipalities and four universities will be connected, giving the two million people who reside within two kilometers of the route, access to the new route. 

Once the Bicycle Autobahn is fully completed, studies suggest, that upwards of 50,000 cars will be removed from the roadways each day, allowing cycling commuters to get around virtually free-car.

The first stretch of the project, was co-funded by the European Union (50%), the North Rhine-Westphalia state (30%) and the development group RVR (20%).

However, the remaining costs of the project now fall upon local authorities, therefore, making outside investments crucial for the completion of the Bicycle Autobahn.  

Martin Toennes of RVR said, “talks were ongoing to raise the €180 million needed for the entire 100km route.” “Without support, the project would have no chance,” he said. The state government is therefore said to be planning legislation to take the burden off municipalities.” Berlin, meanwhile, is looking into a private financing model based in part on advertising along its routes.” 

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