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CYCLING

Geneva extends ‘temporary’ bicycle lanes until September

Created in May for the duration of two months, the cycle lanes can be used by Geneva’s bikers until mid-September

Geneva extends 'temporary' bicycle lanes until September
A man bikes in front of the Geneva airport. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the canton of Geneva converted parts of the roads normally reserved for car traffic, into bicycle lanes connecting the outskirts to the city centre.

The new paths were created in a few hours, to the surprise of motorists and bike enthusiasts alike. 

To achieve this, the road space has been reorganised and redistributed to increase the safety of cyclists while maintaining car routes.

Last week, Geneva authorities announced that the infrastructure, which was originally intended only until July, will be extended until the middle of September.

“This renewal is justified since the distancing rules are still in force at the federal level to prevent the risk of a significant resumption of the COVID-19 epidemic”, the canton said in a press release.

The officials added that bike lanes are needed because “public transport has still not reached” its pre-pandemic occupancy rate.

READ MORE: Travel in Switzerland: Five free (or cheap) things to do in Geneva 

This new deadline should ensure “a temporary connection” consistent with the start of several projects aimed at setting up a permanent cycling infrastructure throughout the canton.

The authorities also created more pedestrian zones. In some of those areas, pedestrians can use the entire street, while accessibility is maintained for vehicles traveling at a speed of up to 20 km / hour.

This map shows the cycling paths and pedestrian zones.

While cyclists are happy with the extended network of paths, the transformation has sparked criticism among many drivers, who complain that the new system is creating traffic jams and bottlenecks on Geneva’s busiest roads.

“If you need pedestrian zones and cycle paths, it is imperative to keep the major axes clear, at the risk of blocking the whole city”, said Bertrand Reich, the president of the local Liberal party. 

 

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ZURICH

Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

Switzerland’s Federal Railways (SBB) will be removing the ticket counter from nine stations in the cantons of Zurich, Vaud, Bern, Zug and Ticino

Swiss rail to close ticket counters in Zurich, Bern, Vaud, Ticino and Zug

The SBB made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the decision was made due to a lack of demand. 

Instead, commuters will need to buy tickets from automated machines. 

In the canton of Zurich, the ticket stations in Dietlikon, Hinwil, Kloten, Männedorf and Oberwinterthur will be closed. 

In neighbouring Zug, Cham’s ticket counter will be closed, while the Herzogenbuchsee station in Bern will also go fully automated. 

MAPS: The best commuter towns when working in Zurich

In Latin Switzerland, Pully in Vaud and Biasca in Ticino will see their ticket counters closed. 

The SBB told Swiss news outlet Watson that approximately 95 percent of ticket sales are now made via self-service machines or online. 

The advent of navigation apps has meant the need for personal advice on directions and travel has fallen, particularly in smaller areas or stations with lower traffic. 

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