Monday, 22 October 2012


Radwegebenützungspflicht is the compulsory use of cycle infrastructure. It is a law in Austria that cyclists must use the cycle infrastructure if there is some near by (or something like that but it is a bit unclear...).

Some cyclists oppose this law for various reasons but here are some that are plausible arguments IMHO:

- It was introduced to get bikes out of the way of cars.
- Cyclists should have the right to ride fast on the road and not be forced to use the slow poor quality dangerous cycle paths with all the pedestrians, "beginner" cyclists and hazards.
- It re-enforces the cultural opinion that bikes have no right to be on the road.

Statements like these demonstrate these attitudes:

"Schnelle Radler können im Verkehr mitschwimmen und Langsamere oder Ängstliche haben es am Radweg gemütlicher."

One thing I am 100% sure of, if this law is dropped then overnight absolutely nothing will change for 99% of road users. The road environment will still be the same aggressive environment and the cycling infrastructure will still be of poor quality. 8 year old children will not suddenly start riding to school mixing with the 50kmph cars. A few cyclists can run will the bulls with the legal right to be there and can feel superior to all the afraid beginners, but the environment that would enable high levels of cycling will not be any closer.

I personally like adrenalin and going fast. I race extreme sailing boats and ride my mountain bike down hill faster than I really know how too, but I would like to think I can make the differentiation between sport and practical, responsible mobility.

So lets get rid of the Radwegebenützungspflicht so cycle campaigners can focus on the important stuff.

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