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Cycling infrastructure developments in Budapest: new bicycle lanes along the Grand Boulevard

As a part of cycling friendly measures taken in relation to the pandemic, temporary bike lanes have been opened on a three-kilometre-long stretch of the Grand Boulevard between Üllői út and Váci út, which is one of the busiest thoroughfares in the capital. Consequently, only one traffic lane remains open to cars in each direction, but thanks to the drop in road traffic levels, no significant congestion is expected.

Bicycle use has increased in Budapest due to the pandemic as many seek safer travel options. Cycling does not only contribute to maintaining health, but it also facilitates social distancing and travel safety. In consideration of the above, the Municipality of Budapest decided at the end of March to take advantage of low car traffic levels and designate temporary cycling lanes on major roads in the city to help in slowing the spread of the disease. Along two major roads in Buda, Bartók Béla út and Tétényi út, the bike lanes are already open, while along Üllői út in Pest, lane construction will be completed shortly.

Based on a municipal decision, as the next phase of the measures carried out by BKK in cooperation with road manager Budapest Közút, temporary bike lanes will be painted along the section of the Grand Boulevard located in the Józsefváros, Erzsébetváros and Terézváros neighbourhoods, planned to remain in place until September. Ahead of key intersections, the bike lanes are open, which means that only cyclists can use them for continuous travel while cars can enter the lanes only when making a right turn or another manoeuver, always yielding to bike riders. This type of bike lane has already been in use with success at several locations in the capital.

The three-kilometre-long temporary bike lanes mean that road capacity is reduced to one traffic lane in each direction, which is not expected to cause congested traffic along the boulevard owing to the current decreased traffic levels, but the situation will be constantly monitored, and if needed, intervention will be made.

Construction works started on 27 April with the installation of the required road traffic signs followed by the painting of road surface signs. The main cycling network in Budapest measures 325 kilometres to which the current development adds another 20 at key locations where they were most needed.

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