In the last eight years, there have been few new cycling routes in the capital. In older route sections, people on bicycles still encounter the same flaws. But the condition of Prague’s cycling infrastructure could improve in the foreseeable future. The number of cyclists in the metropolis is increasing and existing major routes require expansion.
“We have earmarked 130 million CZK for the development of cycle paths. That’s a hundred million more than before. In the high level of preparation, the Vršovice Railway Promenade—between Vyšehrad and Skalka—will leave after the construction of the SŽDC railway corridor, ” says Pavel Polák, the Prague Cyclo-Coordinator.
Polák worked in a similar position already during the time of Mayor Pavel Bém (ODS). He was dismissed in 2012 despite criticism of this decision by the professional public. Mayor Pavel perceives him as a competent person all the time.
“As part of the renewal of the track between Prague and Kladno, a cycle path for Kladno cyclists will be created. Its eastern part will be located in Prague. These projects are also supported by the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure, ”explains Polák. Building routes using the original railway route is economically very advantageous.
There are ten plus cycling routes in the project preparation. Yet, usually three to five years pass from study to implementation. However, some new stretches might allow people to ride soon.
“We are currently completing the cycling path under Čuprová along Rokytka, and by next spring there will be ready cycling paths between Cholupice and Dolní Břežany, the Jarov cycling route or the Sedlec – Suchdol connection,” says the cyclo coordinator. The Čuprov trail, according to the deputy mayor for transport, will open twice. Moreover, Scheinherr is exploring other possibilities for cycling.
The problem with Prague cycling transport is the shortcomings on the existing paths. For example, the A22 cycle path between Kunratice Forest and Barrandov Bridge. At one point, the bend is driven on a metal bridge that is slippery when wet. A little further towards the river beyond the baseball field, large puddles and muddy sand form. Even further, at the so-called sandpit and the exit from Jižní spojka to Braník, the cycle path leads along a narrow sidewalk, in the middle part of which is also a lamp.
It is unavoidable; the clutter adds to the place that it is cornering. Two-wheelers, who step on the pedals properly, can be in trouble. “[Issue] could be removed sometime between 2020 and 2021,” explains Polák (from the Cyclo-Coordinator).
Other problems with cycle paths are pointed out by the civic association AutoMat, which has been dealing with this issue for many years. It points out that cycling trails are constantly increasing. “The main problems are cycle paths with trails, i.e. where cycle paths or other solutions allowing safe driving are missing,” says Vratislav Filler for the Laboratory of Sustainable Urbanism of the AutoMat Association.
According to Filler, the biggest problem for cyclists is the lack of passage through the center. “But the solution here is not simple, it is a way of partial adjustments, in the end, it can only solve the complex modification of the whole waterfront along the lines of London Cycle highways,” adds AutoMat expert.
Overall, Polák sees the possibilities of cycling development more in the peripheral parts of the metropolis. An area where more space allows place for better renovation and paths for everyday-cyclist.
Drahanské údolí, aka Drahan or Draháň Valley is part of a natural park called Draháň – Troja – yes, it has officially more than one name, and all of them are really difficult to read. It´s almost unbelievable, but it’s still part of Prague.
If you are brave enough to travel by metro and bus to a distant neighborhood, you will be rewarded by breathtaking sceneries.
We’ve discovered this hidden gem recently, and we’ve been riding our bikes there. So, of course, I was stopping every ten metres to enjoy the view, to check the small cottages behind the trees or just look at something that caught my eye — and there were plenty of interesting things.
Be warned: this valley is not only visually beautiful, but also a bit demanding, so don’t wear your dancing shoes. You’ll have to jump over creeks, watch your steps (or wheels) all the time because of roots, branches or the above-mentioned creek.
And by the way, if you’re on your bike, you have to wade through it (or you can ride IN the creek for some time, yay!) too.
If you want to go downhill (not much, but it’s more pleasant to go down than to go up the hill, isn’t it?), start in Dolní Chabry at the bus terminal and enjoy the beautiful woods of this nature park… and after about 2 km you’ll end down at the bank of the Vltava river.
Author: Janina Michlová. You can find the original article here
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