How many cyclepaths and bike lanes did the year 2023 bring to Prague?

Publikováno: 13. února. 2024, 9 min. čtení
Aktualizováno: 12. února. 2024
Publikováno: 13. února. 2024, 9 min. čtení
Aktualizováno: 12. února. 2024

In 2023, the capital city continued to improve its cycling infrastructure. Kilometers of paths for pedestrians and cyclists were created, as well as many bike lanes, bike racks, and contraflow bike lanes. However, the pace slowed down compared to the years 2021 and 2022.

In the year 2023, Prague built 4.3 kilometers of paths for pedestrians and cyclists, legalized 9.7 kilometers of sidewalks for cycling, and marked 2.1 km of dedicated bike lanes and 9.5 km of advisory bike lanes. The city introduced 21 contraflow bike lanes and created 16 new cyclist crossings.

The data presented in this overview article are based on our editorial monitoring of new infrastructure. It is possible that the actual numbers may slightly differ.

The length of new paths and legalized sidewalks for cycling remained at the level of 2022. The number of new bike lanes decreased to only a third compared to the record year of 2021. The least number of contraflow bike lanes were created since 2019. More than 92% of one-way streets remain that way for cycling as well.

Cyclepaths and footbridges

Last year, in Prague, a single truly separated cyclepath was created, which is the 250-meter long underpass of the Mánes Bridge on the A1 bike route in the city center. Conversely, the modernization of the A2 path in Podolí canceled 250 meters of separated traffic. On the subsequent section under Vyšehrad, the path for pedestrians and cyclists was removed, leading to its paving and re-signing as a sidewalk with allowed cycling. The rest of the Podolí path was expanded and reconstructed, as well as the path along the Hostivař Reservoir.

A single separated cyclepath was created

The year 2023 was marked by the addition of footbridges, with a total of four being added. Holešovice and Karlín were connected by the Štvanice footbridge, which quickly became a popular destination. In Prague 16-Radotín, two footbridges were constructed: one crossing Výpadová street near the station, the other was rebuilt over the Berounka river. In Čakovice, a footbridge over the railway line was created, connecting to more than a kilometer of new paths for pedestrians and cyclists.

Two new paths for pedestrians and cyclists were built near Újezd nad Lesy. One runs along Staroklánovická street, connecting it with the station, and the other connects with Běchovice. Prague 6 marked one path on existing wide sidewalks along Ankarská street.

Bike lanes

The pace of marking bike lanes slowed down in 2023. New dedicated bike lanes were created only on the streets of Chlumecká, Badeniho, Prosecká, Pod Krejcárkem, and Janáčkovo nábřeží.

Traditionally there were more advisory bike lanes. The longest section was created on Černokostelecká by repainting the original sharrows. In Prague 1, often criticized bike lanes were added on Na Florenci street, in Smíchov the bike lanes were extended on Svornosti street and the area in front of Jirásek Bridge. Above Smíchov, bike lanes were added on the streets of Podbělohorská, Zapova, and Na Hřebenkách. Two sections of bike lanes were also created along newly built tram lines: Bubenské nábřeží and the Dědina housing estate.

Legalized sidewalks

Across the city, nearly ten kilometers of sidewalks were legalized for cycling. The largest implementation was the extensive legalization of sidewalks along Průmyslová street in Malešice, Prague 10. Street reconstructions led to the legalization of cycling on sidewalks along Vídeňská in Krč, along K Žižkovu street, on the A55 bike route in Horní Měcholupy, and in Badeniho street. Finally, sidewalks along the tram lines on Bubenské nábřeží and near the Dědina housing estate were legalized.

A foot rest, bike shelters, and a detector

During the year 2023, Prague also saw the creation of a few ‚gadgets‘ that facilitate bicycle travel. In Nové Butovice, a foot rest with supporting railings was established as part of a pilot operation. This feature is common abroad, including in Poland and the USA, but it caused a stir in our country. On Na Florenci street, the city put in sewer covers with transverse grates to prevent bicycle wheels from getting stuck.

On the contraflow bike lane on Dvořák’s embankment, another automatic cyclist detector was installed before the traffic lights (experimentally complemented with more conspicuous notification of detection engagement), replacing an unsuitable push button. A now classic addition was 32 new bike boxes for cyclists. The capital city has over 1200 of them.

Contraflow bike lanes

Twenty-one one-way streets with two-way cyclist traffic were marked throughout Prague. This is a slight decrease compared to 2022 when thirty were created. Six out of the twenty-one contraflow bike lanes were established in Prague-Libuš, with Prague 4 not lagging behind, adding three. Prague 6, 7, 8, and 12 each marked two.

Bike racks

In Prague, a total of 78 new locations with quality bike racks were created in 2023. Out of these, 16 locations were established by private entities like developers or shops, while the rest were set up by the city or public organizations. A total of 289 bike racks were added in the city, with the most common locations having two (24%) or three (14%) racks; 7 ‚clusters‘ with more than eight racks at a single location were also created. Examples include the renovated Vysočanská station and the cyclepath in Podolí.

In addition, the city built a new bike shelter at the reconstructed Prague-Radotín railway station. After Opatov, this is the second such bike shelter in Prague.

There were also 45 designated bike parking spots (without racks) created in the streets, indicating a slight slowdown compared to 2022 when 57 were created. These rack-free nests are mainly used for shared bikes and scooters. They are marked by Prague 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7.“

Slow (non)growth?

As the statistics show, cycling infrastructure in Prague increased in 2023, but the overall pace slowed down compared to the ‚boom‘ in 2021 and 2022. Paths and funding for them are still mainly demanded by the peripheral city districts. In the center – where it is most needed – new separate infrastructure is an exception. A construction in the wider center could have been the path in Prague 4 connecting the Labuť area with the Kačerov metro station, but the city council did not allocate funds for the otherwise approved project.

Mixing bike traffic with cars may not pay off

At the same time, fully separated cyclepaths are not being created, only 5% (250 meters) of the length of new paths brought separation of cyclists from pedestrians. The reconstruction of the A2 bike route in Podolí, on the other hand, mixed pedestrians and cyclists on an even longer section than before. The reconstruction of Na Florenci street showed that in busy central streets, mixing bike traffic with cars is not worthwhile – most of the day, bike lanes are occupied by parked cars. The police would hardly manage it even with non-stop patrols.

Despite all the shortcomings in the streets, the number of rides on shared bikes on Lítačka increased by 25%. However, bike counters recorded a slight decrease in total number of cyclists on bike routes, by 17% – from 5.6 million rides in 2022 to 4.7 million in 2023. These numbers are questionable, mainly due to inaccuracies of the counters (their failures), their overall low number, and especially the absence on main streets in central parts of the city.

All of Prague’s cycling projects for 2023 can be viewed under our tag ‚Pražské realizace‚ [in Czech].

New cycling infrastructure in Prague

This article was published with financial support from the capital city of Prague as part of the project ‚Cyclists themselves for Prague‘. The project ensures systematic information about new cycling infrastructure in Prague.

This is an adjusted machine translation using Automat’s CycleLingo Translator (ChatGPT) of this article:

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