(True Activist) Go Germany! To take 50,000 vehicles off the highways, benefit the environment and encourage the populace to be more active, the country is building a bicycle highway that connects 10 cities within its borders. The project intends to make the process of commuting via bike both safe and a fun investment of time.
The idea for the 62-mile bike highway was inspired seven years ago when a cultural project caused the closure of a road between Duisburg and Dortmund for 24 hours. On that day, three million people took to the road on bikes, skates and in regular ol’ tennis shoes. It was then the city officials knew citizens would take advantage of an eco-friendly autobahn if it was constructed.
In December of 2016, the first stretch of the bike highway opened for use between Mülheim an der Ruhr and Essen. When completed, the Radschnellweg (translation: “fast bike path”), or RS1, will link 10 cities and four universities with 62 miles of highway.
To promote safety and prevent accidents, the bike highway — along with a parallel pedestrian path — is designed to be completely separated from vehicle lanes. 13 feet in width, it’s also outfitted with tunnels and lights, as safety and accessibility issues are what keep most people from cycling to work or to a friend’s house.
As Sharable reports, Germany isn’t the first nation to invest in a bike highway. The Netherlands, for instance, built a 20-strong network of bikeways one decade ago and continues to expand it to this day. Norway, as well, will soon install a bike path to connect nine cities.
Watch the video below to learn more: