Since the municipal elections in Prague over half a year has passed, and we are asking the local councilors responsible for transportation from the city districts Prague 1 to Prague 22 about their plans for cycling transportation. We start with city district Prague 3, which has a population of 74,000. Ondřej Rut, the councilor for transportation representing the Green Party (Zelení), is responding to our written inquiries.
1. Are you planning to construct new cycle paths, mark cycling lanes, or legalize bike passage in your city district in the coming years?
We are planning to convert selected one-way streets into two-way streets for cycling. We aim to choose suitable streets as part of the development of 30 km/h zones, which we will gradually implement. Currently, a 30 km/h zone is being designed in the area north of Vinohradská Hospital, and the District Council has already approved the intention to establish a 30 km/h zone between Vítkov and Parukářka. We are also discussing projects for cycle route conversions mentioned in this article. Unfortunately, we encountered issues with the project contractor, who failed to meet deadlines, and we are finalizing the review of these projects in recent weeks.
2. As part of street reconstruction, will the conditions for cycling improve in Olšanská and the upper part of Koněvova Street? When is the expected implementation?
The reconstruction of the final section of Koněvova Street (Ostromečská – Zelenky – Hajského) is expected to take place in 2024, and I hope that the city of Prague will include this project in its budget. The reconstruction of Olšanská Street is currently in the conceptual study phase, and I hesitate to anticipate or promise its implementation. In an optimistic scenario, we are looking at around 2028.
3. The city district Prague 3 is now crossed by the citywide route A8 from Malešice through Olšanská to Jiřího z Poděbrad Square. How will the city district cooperate in its establishment?
The A8 route ends at the beginning of Ondříčkova Street, but it is connected to the A421 route towards Jiřího z Poděbrad Square and further into Vršovice. Personally, I would like to explore the possibility of a protected cycling lane during the uphill section of Ondříčkova Street. However, there is currently no political consensus on this plan within Prague 3, so it is not possible to make any promises. Improving conditions along the A8 route is tied to the implementation of major investment projects (Tram tracks reconstruction at Jičínská – Táboritská, Olšanská Street reconstruction, development of the Nákladové nádraží brownfield). As Prague 3, we will collaborate and assist in the preparation of all these projects in the future, striving for their realization as soon as possible.
4. The intersection of Jičínská and Šrobárova has been prepared for the introduction of a contraflow cycle route on Šrobárova for many years. Will it ever happen?
Šrobárova Street was planned in the previous period by the city authorities, but unfortunately, they did not address the objections raised by the Department of Transportation of Prague 3, which I personally believe could be resolved. We may revive this project as part of the 30 km/h zone project in this area.
5. When and where will further 30 km/h zones be implemented?
As part of the coalition agreement for this electoral term, we have pushed for the continued introduction of 30 km/h zones in residential areas of Prague 3, away from main streets. I would like us to discuss and approve two such zones each year. Currently, we are discussing a zone north of Vinohradská Hospital (anticipated marking in spring 2024), and we have requested the City of Prague to prepare a 30 km/h zone between Vítkov and Parukářka (anticipated marking in autumn 2024). More zones will follow.
6. Is there a plan to supplement and expand the „CYRIL“ bicycle stand network? Will stands be placed off the sidewalks, such as in front of crosswalks and on traffic islands, similar to Prague 1, 2, 3, 6, and 8?
Yes, we plan to further expand the network of bicycle parking spaces, prioritizing locations on the roadway, in front of crosswalks, and on traffic islands. Currently, four locations are ready for designation, and I have personally identified approximately ten more locations where there is a shortage of bicycle parking spaces. We will continue to develop in this area. I would like to remind you that in the CYRIL system, we already have over two hundred bicycle parking spaces, and the Prague 3 system is one of the most developed.
7. Are you striving for a wider coverage of bike-sharing?
Yes, I am striving for that. We are in direct contact with companies providing bike-sharing services, especially regarding their respect for parking spaces in our CYRIL system. We will continue to support the development of bike-sharing and the use of shared bicycles. At the same time, we are still addressing the issue of poor parking, particularly of scooters. The most effective tool in this regard remains ensuring an adequate number of parking spaces and negotiating with providers.
8. How else do you plan to improve cycling conditions in your district?
In my opinion, it requires a large number of small interventions in various locations. Personally, I have encountered political challenges in advocating for concepts like a cycling infrastructure masterplan in the past, and I have found that it is more efficient to focus on implementing specific measures. These measures can be better explained to political opponents and currents that are resistant to the development of cycling infrastructure in the city.
9. Which construction or change in this current electoral term will have the most positive impact on pedestrian and cycling transportation in your district?
The implementation of 30 km/h zones with contraflow cycling allowed in one-way streets.
10. Which foreign city inspires you in the field of transportation?
I must admit that I don’t have many personal experiences. I recently visited Vienna and previously Copenhagen. Other than that, I rely on literature for inspiration.
11. Do you sometimes travel around the city by bicycle? Why or why not?
Occasionally. A shared bicycle is a great means of transportation for me between dropping off my son at kindergarten and getting to the town hall.
12. Do you follow our magazine?
Yes, I do follow it, not regularly, but I often come across links to interesting articles on social media.
Thank you for the interview.