COVID-19: Cities adapting road infrastructure and speed limits to enable safer cycling and walking

  • April 20, 2020

Berlin, Brussels, Milan and Paris have all announced infrastructure changes to promote cycling and walking during the COVID-19 confinement period.

Berlin has already temporarily widened cycle lanes to allow safe overtaking with social distancing limits in mind.

Milan, meanwhile is closing 35km of streets to car traffic, introducing more 30 km/h limits and converting streets  to cycling and pedestrian-priority.

In France, Paris and several other large cities have announced large rollouts of cycle lanes for during and after the lockdown.

In the Belgian capital Brussels, the entire city centre will be made a 20km/h zone with pedestrians and cyclists allowed to use the full width of the road and given full priority.

Some cities are accelerating existing mobility changes, while the plans also address a significant concern of many city authorities, namely that people returning to work after the lockdown will seek out alternatives to public transport such as trams, metros and buses.  It is hoped that allocating road space to bicycles and pedestrians, and reducing the space available for cars, will encourage people to cycle or walk rather than taking the car.