Many people shared their holiday cycle impressions on social media all through the summer. I found it very interesting to see what people visiting the Netherlands showed to their home front. Now that the holiday season is coming to an end, with September rapidly approaching, I would like to share some of my own holiday impressions in this “short-post week”. At the beginning of August, I spent four days in Vienna. I’ve now visited the capital of Austria three times in the past four years. Of course, being a Cycling Ambassador, I cannot not look at a city’s infrastructure and things did catch my eye in Vienna. My camera is then never far away…
Outside the immediate centre Vienna has more elaborate cycling infrastructure. This intersection has many characteristics of a protected intersection. Unfortunately the phasing of the signals was strangely causing this cyclist and the van crossing each other’s path to have green at the same time.
Without knowing too much about the transport policies some things do stand out. Although there seems to be a huge volume of motor traffic (far too high in my opinion), I did see a lot of cycling in Vienna (even though I only spent most of my time in the city centre). There seems to be a healthy mix of men and women of all backgrounds and a wide age-range of people on bicycles. Vienna also has a bike-share system that is very visible and obviously well used. Vienna has an extensive public transport system (of which the trams are most visible) and some of the city centre streets have been pedestrianised, sometimes very recently.
The modal split in Vienna over the years. The city wants to reduce the number of journeys by private car to 20% by 2025. (From STEP 2025, the transport plan of Vienna in English.)
A quick internet search revealed that Vienna is a city trying to change its transport system. The city is growing fast to two million inhabitants, so it needs to switch to a more space efficient means of transport that uses up fewer resources. Contrary to what it looks like on the streets, the private car is not the dominant form of transport. In the last 20 years, measured by modal split, the car has been surpassed by public transport. It was good to find out the city wants to decrease car use even further. In a plan for 2025, dating from 2014, the city explained its transportation plans (PDF in English!).