Cycle paths A2 and A26 in Prague’s Libeň district on U Českých loděnic Street received a new surface last year. What do they look like, and what will be the continuation of the A2 cycle path along Povltavská Street? Let’s take a look.
Throughout the entire section of U Českých loděnic Street, a new asphalt surface was laid. The entire length of the street now has a pedestrian zone with permitted bicycle access. This replaced the previously dysfunctional divided path for pedestrians and cyclists, which was also marked with non-standard zone signs.
Especially in the section closer to Elsnicovo Square, which is usually the busiest, the width of the entire road is impressive and provides ample space. It seems, no attempt was made to replace the previous dysfunctional divided path with an improved divided equivalent, primarily due to the inadequate width of the street in some sections further towards Povltavská Street.
As part of the reconstruction, new street furniture, including bicycle stands, has been added at several locations. Furthermore, new prominent horizontal markings now explicitly indicate directional destinations.
The city organization Technologie hlavního města Prahy (THMP) has also installed public lighting throughout the entire section, which was previously missing. It is equipped with a control system that should slightly dim the light intensity during low-traffic hours.
Interestingly, the Prague 8 municipal district has kept the original traffic arrangement in some adjacent sections. For example, the relatively narrow footpath leading to U Libeňského zámku Street continues to be designated as a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists.
In the original press release announcing the start of the reconstruction of this section of cycle paths, the municipal district stated that a similar shared path arrangement for pedestrians and cyclists would be implemented in the reconstructed section. We reached out to the municipal district to inquire about the reason for the final decision to establish a pedestrian zone with permitted bicycle access. At the time of article publication, the editorial staff had not received a response, or it will be added later.
In the previous electoral term, former Deputy Mayor for Transport, Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě), along with Prague 8, presented the future extension of the A2 cycle path along the water, continuing towards Barikádníků Bridge via a newly constructed cycle path.
However, this plan has evolved, and the planned path has undergone certain changes. According to information from the editorial team, the previously intended asphalt surface will be replaced with a combination of cobblestones and quarry stone. The planned path’s designation will change from a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists to a pedestrian path with permitted bicycle access.
The change occurred in connection with the Institute of Planning and Development (IPR)’s planned Povltavská Promenade, which is expected to be created after the lowering of Povltavská Street (the city ring road). After the lowering, a high-quality route for the A2 cycle path is planned to be constructed in the current location of Povltavská Street, while the area along the river will have a recreational surface closer to nature. Until the completion of the city ring road, the „faster“ cyclists are still planned to use the existing path along Povltavská Street.
However, another project is currently being prepared (independent of the newly constructed path along the water) to address temporary improvements to the path along Povltavská Street until the implementation of the city ring road, so that it at least meets basic standards.
Marek Vácha, the spokesperson for IPR, adds regarding the planned changes: „In accordance with the approved Strategic Study of the Povltavská Promenade, the project was modified to create a calmer environment in the immediate vicinity of the river, considering its natural surroundings and current use, with a focus on pedestrians, joggers, dog walkers, and riverside activities (including fishermen), as well as families with children on bicycles and generally slower cyclists. At the same time, improvements were made to the conditions for ‚fast‘ cyclists on Povltavská Street. This differentiation is achieved primarily through surface modifications.“
Regarding future modifications to Povltavská Street, Vácha further states: „The Technical Road Administration (TSK), in coordination with Prague 8, commissioned a study on the modifications of the existing cycle path in Povltavská Street. The street modifications are designed to provide a protected and spatially adequate lane separated from the roadway by an elevated level in both directions. The project also includes relocating lamps, removing the central barrier, and creating two staircases connecting the two levels with space for bike parking.“
In the near future, a cobblestone path will be created along the water, partial improvements will be made to the path along Povltavská Street, and after the lowering of the city ring road, a fully developed and high-quality section of the superior A2 cycle path will be created in the current location of Povltavská Street.