Cycling roads and one-way streets

The German Insurers Accident Research (UDV) carried out a research project on the traffic safety of cycling roads and one-way streets with permitted contraflow bicycle traffic.

In the project a literature review, an online survey, accident analyses, behavioral observations and surveys of road users were conducted. The analyses showed that both types of infrastructure are relatively safe in principle. Nevertheless, typical accidents were noticed. At the intersections of both predominantly turning or crossing accidents occurred.

On the road segments in cycling roads bicycle accidents happened mainly in connection with parked cars or overtaking and in the one-way streets with pedestrians crossing the road. On basis of the results of the analyses it is recommend that the access for motorized road users into cycling roads has to be restricted as far as possible (i.e. access for residents only).

In order to avoid overtaking of cyclists by cars without the necessary safety distances cycling roads should have a width of at least 4 m plus the required safety distances to parked vehicles. Furthermore cycling roads should have the right of way at intersections.

In consequence the crossing roads must be recognizably designed to give way to the traffic on the bicycle road. If the conditions above cannot be met, the establishment of a cycling road has to be questioned. For one-way streets the current requirements in the legal and planning regulations for the permission of contraflow bicycle traffic in essence could be confirmed.