Cycle highwaysThe FrankfurtRheinMain region is considered the commuter capital of Germany. The densely populated metropolitan area features major cities such as Frankfurt am Main, Darmstadt, Wiesbaden, Mainz, or Offenbach am Main in close proximity and thus creates complex commuter streams. Important destinations such as industrial and economic centers, housing quarters, and important traffic hubs are comparatively close together and can be reached quickly and comfortably even by bike – provided corresponding infrastructure exists. In Germany, bicycle express connections and their cycle highways are still in their infancy. Until now only a few such connections have been realized and in Hesse there has not been any such project until now.
Cycle highways promote bicycle traffic as a network element in everyday life. Characteristic features are high-quality surfaces which permit speedy travel and which makes bicycles an attractive option for distances up to 15 km and beyond. In the sense of a premium product, cycle highways connect high-traffic origin and destination areas directly and comfortably in order to tap into the reduction potential - especially in rush hour traffic. This creates the opportunity to relieve the temporarily overloaded traffic networks at peak times. Cycle highways are a logical continuation of the regional bicycle traffic promotion which has been in operation for years and represent the infrastructural response to the solid trend towards using bikes. With cycle highways, one can reduce travelling times by bicycle by 30 to 50 percent respectively.
Cycle highway at Göttingen. Picture: Göttingen City Council, Christoph Mischke
Cycle highway Frankfurt – Darmstadt
In order to determine a suitable cycle highway network for the region, first a potential study was performed for a series of corridors. The pilot route Frankfurt – Darmstadt was selected among the possible connection axes as a preferred corridor to implement an express bicycle connection. For this purpose, the Regional Authority commissioned a feasibility study in May 2014 for the corridor Frankfurt – Darmstadt with the surrounding municipalities Frankfurt am Main, Neu-Isenburg, Dreieich, Langen, Egelsbach, Erzhausen, and Darmstadt.
Cycle highway Frankfurt – Hanau
Another cycle highway is to be realized in the region in the area north of the Main. With a length of 15 to 20 km, it will connect Frankfurt am Main, Maintal, and Hanau. For this purpose, the inter-municipal work group, consisting of the Regional Authority and the three municipalities, signed a letter of intent at the beginning of 2016 to create a feasibility study.
Cycle highway Frankfurt – Gateway Gardens
The Cycle highway connection Frankfurt – Gateway Gardens is to be developed as part of the EU subsidy project CHIPS (Cycle Highways Innovation for Smarter People Transport and Spatial Planning). The subsidy application received a positive response.