A City-Wide Bike Lane May Soon Stretch Across Berlin

Radbahn / Radbahn

Nearly 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a bike line may be coming to Berlin that connects the east and west sides of the city. As City Lab reports, the Radbahn would stretch 5.5 miles beneath an elevated subway line that cuts through the German capital's center.

Finnish entrepreneur and cyclist Martti Mela was inspired to propose the project after stumbling upon the U1 subway line while biking to work one day. The space underneath it was reserved for cars to park, but after Mela biked through, he realized it was the perfect width for a bike lane.

Because the area is already paved with asphalt, converting it into a bike lane wouldn’t be much of a hassle. If the plan goes through, the final design would feature snack stops, rest stops, plants, and bike repair stations along the route.

The team behind the project is describing it as “a piece of Copenhagen in Berlin.” Berlin has yet catch up with many of their European neighbors in terms of bike-friendliness. Copenhagen is home to 250 miles of bike paths, and this year Norway announced a plan to invest $1 billion in bike highways. Berlin’s new plan may not sound as impressive in comparison, but it would be a major step forward for a city that currently puts automobiles first.

The proposal has already received the Federal Ecodesign Award from Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, as well as support from the Senate of Berlin. A provision to fund the project is currently in the process of going through, with construction aimed to begin in 2018.


[h/t City Lab]

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.