The City Council has presented a document to the municipal assembly informing them about the estimated cost and schedule for completing key transportation projects.
This was done in response to resolution number 2/7 of March 23, 2023, in which the City Council was tasked with presenting a schedule for the implementation of certain key transportation projects, including budgetary requirements. The superior cycle routes A1 to A9 were later added to the list of key transportation projects. The Prague municipal assembly has designated the superior cycle routes A1 to A9 as key transportation projects.
The municipal document Z-11667 dated September 14 now estimates that the cost of completing all superior cycle routes A1 to A9 would be approximately 3 billion Czech crowns (in 2019 prices). Estimated annual operating costs are around 130 million Czech crowns.
The total estimated cost of all key transportation projects is approximately 268.5 billion Czech crowns, so the costs of the superior cycle routes make up roughly 1.1% of all projected investment expenses for key transportation projects.
The document further states that if investments in transportation infrastructure were to remain at, for example, 6 billion Czech crowns per year, the completion of all key transportation projects would take approximately 28 years. If the construction of metro line D is also taken into account, the realization of all key projects would take 44 years.
It is noted that the city is also preparing a number of other investments that are not classified as key transportation projects, such as the reconstruction of the Smíchov transportation terminal, bridge renovations, the reconstruction of the Strahov tunnel, and the Southern Link road.
The document concludes, „Even in the next 20 years, it will not be possible to implement most of the measures from the list due to their investment requirements and the continuous increase in regular expenditures in the transportation chapter. The current pace of road infrastructure maintenance is insufficient to even slow down its continuous degradation. For example, it will not be possible to finance the construction of the city ring road from the city budget.“
The municipal authority adds, „In terms of assessment, we would like to point out that the ratio of benefits to financial costs of some measures on the list is debatable. For example, the investment of 1-1.5 billion Czech crowns in a new P+R parking facility at a metro station provides limited benefits in terms of transportation volume and the division of transport work, despite improving air quality and reducing climate impacts. This is because approximately 800,000 cars are estimated to be present in Prague daily. In contrast, a similar amount of investment is required for the tramway line from Nádraží Podbaba to Suchdol, which serves a population of 6,800 along with the surrounding area and a university with 20,000 students and 900 employees.“
According to available foreign studies, the effect of proposed radial road projects on transportation may not be positive. By shortening travel times, new fast connections increase the overall number of car journeys at the expense of more environmentally friendly modes of transportation. Traveling by car will become attractive to many people who currently use public transport or do not travel to more distant destinations at all. Additionally, capacity-enhancing radial roads promote suburbanization and the associated increase in car traffic from suburban areas to the city center, leading to traffic congestion within the city. However, the capacity of the road network within the city has been consistently utilized. The financial costs, such as the 14 billion Czech crowns for the Radlická radial road, are significant in terms of the city’s total investment budget.“
The Prague citywide cycling system includes so-called superior, backbone, and main cycling routes. These routes are designed to provide basic and safe permeability throughout the city for cyclists when completed.
Superior routes are the highest category, marked with codes A1 to A9 (plus the city loop A50). In concept, they are considered „cycle highways,“ corridors where high-quality and separated cycling infrastructure should ultimately be built. These corridors were defined only recently in the entire system, with the first superior routes as such being defined in the 2019 update. This was also a response to the preparation of several cycle paths along former railway routes (e.g., Vršovická railway promenade, cycle path along the Kladno railway route).
Backbone routes, marked with two-digit codes A10 to A99, ensure basic cycling permeability in all areas of Prague. Former backbone cycling routes A1 and A2 have been defined as part of the superior cycling routes since 2019.
Main routes are marked with three-digit codes A100 to A999 and mainly provide locally significant cycling connections, further densifying the basic system of superior and backbone cycling routes.
List of key transportation projects in Prague:
(Source: Municipal Assembly resolution)