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.
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.