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Cyclists allowed in Budapest’s bus lanes (Hungary)

By Jan Christiaens / Updated: 01 Aug 2014
After a years-long lobbying effort, cyclists in the Hungarian capital have finally been allowed to ride in several downtown priority bus lanes.
In early August, the Budapest Transport Centre (BKK), the umbrella organisation overseeing all aspects of city transport, designated 10 bus lanes as open to cyclists. The lanes, marked with yellow bicycle icons, include a long north-south artery on the Buda bank of the Danube and nine shorter sections in central Pest. In total, they extend over more than 4.5 km.

The ban on cycling in bus lanes has been a sore point for cyclists because it forces them to ride in the second lane over from the curb. In that position, faster motor traffic passes the cyclist on both the left and right, creating an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation.

Karoly Sinka, a leader of the city’s Critical Mass movement, pointed this out in a presentation this summer to recruits of the city’s new bicycle patrol squad. Sinka noted that enforcing the ban is not only bad for cyclists, it’s also bad for motorists because cyclists in the middle of a thoroughfare pose a bigger obstruction to traffic than those riding along the curb.

According to BKK, the new bike-bus lanes are part of a package of measures connected to the opening of Budapest’s public bicycle system, planned for 2013.

In its web announcement about the lanes, the bicycle club said it hopes further bike-bus lanes will follow because they are “inexpensive and safe developments.” The club included a list of pointers on how cyclists should ride in the lanes (e.g. don’t overtake buses on the right side, pull to the side at cross streets to allow trailing buses to pass, etc.). The club also promised to host classes for bus drivers to orient them on the new lane designation.

Source: kerekparosklub.hu (in Hungarian)

Photo source: http://www.bkk.hu/2012/08/augusztustol-ujabb-10-kozos-autobusz-savban-lehet-kerekparozni-budapesten
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