Germany Just Approved a Bicycle Autobahn That Could Change the Way We Commute

Germany Just Approved a Bicycle Autobahn That Could Change the Way We Commute
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Bicycle paths and bicycle lanes have already changed commuting and travel. But Germany may have just given the world a glimpse at the real future: bicycle highways. 

In a move toward sustainability, officials have endorsed plans on a bicycle highway that would connect 10 cities and four universities by way of over 100 kilometers of road, according to the Agence France-Presse. For now, cyclists can enjoy the first five kilometers of the bicycle autobahn, which would serve almost 2 million people when completed. 

In addition to making travel more efficient for cyclists, who will no longer have to navigate traffic and busy intersections, the bicycle autobahn will make it infinitely safer. The routes are smooth and even, intersect roads with over- and underpasses, are well lit for nighttime riders and will be cleared of snow.

Officials, however, are worried the project won't get the funding it needs — the entire span of the highway comes with a price tag of $196 million, AFP noted. "Without [state] support, the project would have no chance," said Martin Toennes, an employee at the German regional planning company RVR.

A study his firm conducted proves it could be a worthy investment: RVR estimated the bicycle autobahn would take 50,000 cars off the road daily. 

On Monday Milan began to get a glimpse of what that could look like when officials banned private vehicles for six hours. The manager of the German bicycle club ADFC, Burkhard Stork, said it's the way of the future. "Building highways in cities is a life-threatening recipe from the 1960s. No one wants more cars in cities," he told AFP.

Other German cities are taking notes, as Frankfurt, Munich and Nuremberg have all begun making plans for their own bicycle highways. Cars are so 2015.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Marie Solis

Marie is a staff writer with a focus in feminist issues. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

MORE FROM

‘New York Times’ interview sparks latest wave of GOP frustration with Trump

The President’s “disturbing” comments on Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller drew sharp rebukes from his own party.

Jordan Edwards’ mother speaks out after Monday’s indictment of the officer who killed her son

“We will not allow Jordan’s death to be another statistic.”

Trump keeps saying he wants to “let Obamacare fail.” How would that happen?

There are several ways the administration could sabotage the law, experts said.

AIDS deaths are almost half of what they were in 2005 — but experts worry Trump could reverse that

Trump's proposed budget cuts could be detrimental for those living with HIV.

OJ Simpson granted parole after nine years in prison

After serving nine years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery, OJ Simpson was granted parole in a unanimous vote on Thursday.

Black Lives Matter activists respond to the police shooting of Justine Damond

“Some white people don’t feel the tragedy until one of them is murdered.”

‘New York Times’ interview sparks latest wave of GOP frustration with Trump

The President’s “disturbing” comments on Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller drew sharp rebukes from his own party.

Jordan Edwards’ mother speaks out after Monday’s indictment of the officer who killed her son

“We will not allow Jordan’s death to be another statistic.”

Trump keeps saying he wants to “let Obamacare fail.” How would that happen?

There are several ways the administration could sabotage the law, experts said.

AIDS deaths are almost half of what they were in 2005 — but experts worry Trump could reverse that

Trump's proposed budget cuts could be detrimental for those living with HIV.

OJ Simpson granted parole after nine years in prison

After serving nine years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery, OJ Simpson was granted parole in a unanimous vote on Thursday.

Black Lives Matter activists respond to the police shooting of Justine Damond

“Some white people don’t feel the tragedy until one of them is murdered.”