Back in December a brand new bi-directional dedicated bicycle lane was opened running the length of Kirchberg, and here at Cycle Luxembourg we are very happy about it indeed.
What we LOVE: – Width/comfort, segregation, protection
What we DON’T LOVE: – lack of integration, lack of prioritisation
What we WANT: – Bollards!
Under a carpet of snow we witnessed the biggest unveiling of cycle infrastructure since the Pont Adolphe underpass. This may be less aesthetically pleasing than the bridge, but promises to be more beautiful in a practical sense.
Overshadowed by the opening of the tram, funicular and new railway stations the cycle path could actually be the easiest method for travelling around the plateau.
The first thing to notice is that it is wide; very wide. For most of its 3.2km it’s 3 metres, which is exceedingly generous and comfortable for any city cycle path anywhere. In addition to this luxury it is fully, and properly, segregated for almost it’s entire length with kerbs and planted ‘islands’ on both sides. True, motor vehicles can (and sadly do, daily) enter, usually to park, at the junctions but this could be easily remedied with a bollard in the centre (There were car tracks visible in the snow on Day One!). As for people on foot they finally have a safe and dedicated path for walking, on this side of JFK at least. Hopefully this should soon also be true on the other side when the old bus lane is converted. The long section in front of d’Coque which allows cars and lorries to use the cycle path is both hugely disappointing and unnecessary.
The junctions have dedicated cycle traffic-lights, many with automated beg-buttons. Whilst this lacks somewhat in terms of prioritisation it should provide good safety at the many junctions. At the moment the integration of the path with existing paths in Kirchberg is not great, but this can be solved with a little imagination. Likewise the links at either end, with the PC2 and the tram/funicular stop and bridge, are far from ideal. It is deeply disappointing that the latter area is shared with those on foot and has no access on this side of the bridge for cyclists. This truly needs looking at urgently. At the other end we have an unsatisfactory, and narrower, shared space petering out before the tram stop. This also needs a decent (and fairly easily done) link with PC2, and our great desire is for a path to run alongside the tram all the way to the proposed end of the line. With a Vel’oh station at the airport it could become the easiest and quickest to access in the world. We must also praise the additional M-Boxes that provide safe cycle storage; one at each here and at the bottom of the funicular.
It is, of course, a very visible commitment to cycling in city and very important for that. It is imperative, however, that it is linked with other great infrastructure to make sure people can easily and safely use their bikes as the obvious A to B choice. As with all our reservations and concerns, however, we must recognise the progress certain individuals in Government and in the City Council have created. It is clear that without them we would not have the tram, and this path would never have been conceived of, let alone realised.
We must not be complacent in our determination to change Luxembourg from a polluted car-centric city to the beautiful people-focussed place we know lies hidden within. And as we go along this journey we should also pause occasionally and look back to where we were, and where we are now.
We are on our way!
a more detailed report is available here