Sunday 2 June 2013

Feedback requested on Operngasse and Herrengasse for Dutch Bicycle Brunch.

As part of the VeloCity Week there will be a "Dutch Bicycle Brunch" on the 15th of June at the fahrRADhaus in cooperation with the Radlobby Österreich. The full invitation is available here.

Artgineering are Dutch Planning Consultants that will look at Operngasse and Herrengasse through some Dutch eyes and discuss the space.  This workshop has nothing to do with this blog but I was volunteered to help them with the organisation of the event.  I have taken 2 videos of the route and suggested what I see as the main problem areas.  However it would be really great to get get feedback from other local cyclists so that they have more feedback than my cynical rants.

Here are the videos of the route.  Please excuse my bad language / bad German / riducule of existing infrastructure and traffic law violations...

I think it is really important to get local feedback about this route so that the Workshop can be as informed and accurate as possible.  So please get involved and post your comments in German or English below, or email me: doug at culnane dot net.

I will compile and translate the feedback and I really look forward to the results.  The workshop is open to members of the public so please do also come along if you are interested.


  1. I'm glad you pointed this out.

    You apologise for your language, but actually we need to hear "nearly fucking killed me" because of course this reflects exactly the problem with such infrastructure.

    It's a confusing mess for everyone and far more inconvenient and dangerous than it should be for cycling. I suspect you don't see many people encouraging their children to cycle along this route.

  2. David,

    Thank you for your comment.

    This was a normal ride and nothing usual happened. I ride very alert and try to read what might happen next which is why I swear a lot because it helps keep the concentration levels high.

    90% of drivers are great. 9% are not really concentrating and 1% actively try to hurt you to prove a point. This means you have to ride as if every driver is in the 1% group. I quite enjoy the video game side of cycling but it is far from stress free and you are right I get very very nervous when I go cycling with my 12 year old son. If fact I prefer to take the public transport when I travel with him. He (like 99% of kids his age) does not ride on his own in Vienna. I find this very very disappointing and I hope some proper infrastructure as you document in your blog could solve a lot of these issues. However I think there is a long way to go before this is understood let alone politically acceptable.

    It will be interesting to see what the results of the workshop are. I think even some consistent human factor design basics could improve things a lot. I hope that there will be some useful feedback and that this will not get corrupted with commercial or political interests.

    All the best,


  3. Comment thanks to Peter-Alexander

    What to change? Spontaneously...

    * Cyclepath at junction Schleifmühlgasse way too narrow and verschwenkt. This is where left turning cars also drive to far and stop with their bumper bar in the middle of the cycle path. Then they cannot see if cyclists coming from behind and when no cyclist comes from their front they start going. Really bad designed.
    * Grüne Welle at about 25 kph in both directions from beginning to end including all junctions, so also Ring, Friedrichstraße und Rechte Wienzeile.
    * Floor covering: These stones are unpleasent to ride. Especially with race bike tires at high pressure.
    * Poles/pylons and junction boxes: Riding towards 4th district. Before Friedrichstraße, after Rechte Wienzeile
    * Zu starke Verschwenkungen: before Schleifmühlgasse and before Waaggasse
    * Junction Rechte Wienzeile: Left turning cars, but especially busses, are driving too far and stop with their bumper nearly on the cyclepath. Because of the angle they stopped they cannot see the cyclepath in their mirror. They start driving when they think no cyclists are there or if they think: "I've waited long enough. Now its my turn. Now they should wait."

    * Michaelerplatz Kopfsteinpflaster: Simply ride it with your race bike.
    * Junction Freyung Teinfaltstraße is sometimes unclear. Years ago there was an Radüberfahrt but this was removed. If looked carefully you can spot where it was. It went over the Verkehrsinsel. Basically there is the Gegenverkehrsregel. So the left turning road user has to give way. Riding towards Michaelerplatz this is applyable. But riding in the other direction? Rechtsregel? Not 100% sure.
    Riding from Freyung towards Michaelerplatz it is very narrow and drivers often take the whole space.

  4. Comment thanks to Peter-Alexander and also mentioned by Tilman that there are a lot more cyclists on this route when the sun shines.

    "On sunny days it is normal to ride behind 3 to 7 other cyclists. So many in front of me that it wouldn't make sense to overtake them because I could not overtake all because of cyclists coming from the other direction. It feels as if this is the most overloaded cyclepath of vienna."

  5. Peter says:

    "bei so vielen fußgängern und so wenig platz wäre tw. eine begegnungszone gut (herrengasse, michaelaplatz, reitschulgasse)."

    Translated he says with so many pedestrians and little space a "begegnungszone" would be good. A "begegnungszone" is a new type of Zone: which is similar to the Dutch Shared Space concept.

  6. Tilman says:

    "Having made operngasse a bidirectional route was plain stupid. I rode it 3 times as intended, then used the bus lane. Even if only one-way towards the opera its a bit narrow. But in this case ok.

    The scaffold has to be removed asap, and high speed bumps installed at the exit of the gas station.

    Michaelerplatz wär besser mit hohen Bordsteinen und gutem Belag von dort bis vor zur Albertina ist meines Erachtens OK. Aufhebnung der RWBP ab Albertina."

  7. More info about the Brunch here: