German petition to allow cyclists on roadway defeated

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Bjorn Haake

Apr 10, 2010, 10:35:16 AM4/10/10
to BicycleDriving
I had mentioned before that there was a petition to the German
parliament to remove the necessity for cyclists to ride on separated
paths under certain circumstances (in other words it is illegal for
cyclists to ride on the roadway if there is an adjacent side path
marked with a bike path sign).

Unfortunately this petition was stopped in a committee before even
considered by the Parliament. The only party voting for the passing on
of that bill was the Green Party.

The argumentation was sort of funny, listing all the points of the
petition (basically all the known points why bike paths are bad idea).
Then all it said it is already the case that bike paths are only
mandatory in certain cases where it is deemed too dangerous to ride on
the roadway.

Even leaving away for a moment that the claim about being dangerous is
silly, the argument fails to acknowledge that since 1998 cities were
required to check all paths to see if they would meet the minimum
standards foir being mandatory. This never happened (some blame the
lack of this mention for the petition's failure). The requirement spec
is a disaster in itself, but most bike paths in Germany can't even
qualify for that (mostly they are narrower than the spec says - I know
Germany is a small country, but to use that as an argument that the
bike paths have to be so narrow...)

Since I hear about cases where local cyclists have managed to remove
the signs that make bike paths mandatory, this is proof that
authorities have not been doing their job and they are just waiting
for complaints to come in.

Which means that near my home, legally I am still forced going the
WRONG WAY through a roundabout!


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