Pont Adolphe, the grand old bridge across the Petrusse Valley that links the centre of Luxembourg city with the Gare district, is currently undergoing major renovations, including widening to accommodate the future tram line. The bridge has never had any dedicated cycle lanes, but even with this opportunity to reconfigure it, no cycling infrastructure has been planned. The future bridge will accommodate cars, buses, a tram, pedestrians…but not bikes.
Unsurprisingly, the temporary blue bridge that will replace the Pont Adolphe during the renovation work is also lacking any cycling infrastructure. This leaves cyclists with no practical option to cross the bridge other than riding in between the cars and (dangerously fast) buses on the road, or take a 1.6km detour across the other bridge, the Al Bréck – this from a state which publicly positions itself as pro ‘soft mobility’. Ironically, the city has just painted a new cycle lane on the sidewalk along Avenue de la Liberté, beginning just after the bridge.
To take a stand, the LVI organized a protest on the afternoon of Monday, February 24th. More than 250 cyclists took part, occupying a lane of the bridge while ringing their bells and wielding signs demanding “Space for bikes on the new bridge!” in German, Luxembourgish and French.
François Bausch, the Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, who is himself a regular cyclist, attended the protest. Speaking to the crowd through a megaphone, he agreed that something had to be done to improve the situation for bikes. He suggested three solutions:
-widening the planned pavement on the Adolphe bridge to accommodate cyclists
-widening the Al Bréck bridge to create a shared pedestrian-bike passage (the current bike lane is due to be replaced with a bus lane once the tram is in service)
-building a new bridge exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists, at a cost of somewhere between 4 and 7 million euros
It remains to be seen what will be decided, but the fact that the Minister is publicly suggesting solutions shows that the protest was a success, and that the voice of cyclists is being heard. The LVI will meet with the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure on March 17th for a new round of discussions.
Read more in the following articles on Wort.lu:
and from Le Quotidien:
Take a look at some more photos of the protest below and on the LVI’s website.
Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.