Kaunas Starts Bicycle Revolution
Paskelbta: 2017-07-19 (Wednesday)
Kaunas intends to become the first city in the Baltic States that is fully tailored for cyclists. The bicycle revolution presented on Friday initially covers the central part of Kaunas – it will be entirely tailored for bicycles. It is planned to later expand to other districts of the city.
“About 3 thousand inhabitants of Kaunas are currently using bicycles regularly as a means of transport. Kaunas has a specific aim – to increase this figure five times in the next three years. The revolution starts from the city center, which will be fully adopted for bicycles. Later we will move to other districts of the city”, said Povilas Mačiulis, Deputy Mayor of Kaunas.
“We welcome this initiative of the city! This is the first big step to make cycling as common as wearing slippers at home. It has to be convenient, safe and fast”, said Linas Vainius, member of the Lithuanian Cyclists’ Community Council.
First steps: new bicycle paths, green lanes for cyclists on streets, pavements tailored for bicycles, and a thousand new bicycle stands will be installed this summer in the city center, Kaunas Old Town and New Town.
“Urban space is limited, priorities are to be set: whether the city center is being developed for people or for motor vehicles. We are glad that people are the priority”, said Tomas Varneckas, head of the division of SWECO, the enterprise that helped prepare for the revolution.
“This initiative should serve traffic safety, because attention is payed to those users of roads who are most vulnerable and most affected”, said Vigintas Lukošius, head of the Kaunas County Traffic Police Board.
What is in the revolution?
• GREEN CYCLIST LANES
The first green lanes on the roadway will be located at K. Donelaitis Str., Kantas Str., Nemunas Str., Karo ligoninės Str., Kaunakiemis Str. Griunvaldas Str., Kęstutis Str. Traffic on this bicycle lane is allowed only in the same direction as the traffic of other vehicles on the adjacent traffic lane.
• LEFT TURN
The green lanes on the roadway will widen at the crossroads. The cyclists will stop there in front of cars. When the green light comes on, cyclists will be able to cross the road first and turn left. Only after they pass will other vehicles move.
• “ZONE 30”
A speed limit of 30 km / h will come into force on the streets of the city center, where cycling will go along with other vehicles. In total, 60 speed limit signs will be erected in V. Putvinskis Str., A. Mickevičius Str., Maironis Str., I. Kantas Str. in the section from the junction with Kęstutis Str. till Laisvės All., Šiauliai Str. The quiet area “Zone 30″ will be established in the Kaunas New Town.
• RESIDENTIAL ZONE
10 additional residential area signs will be erected in the Kaunas New Town and Old Town. In these areas, pedestrians have priority rights over vehicles, they are allowed to walk in the roadway. The speed limit in this area is 20 km / h. The Old Town and the dead ends of L. Sapiega Str., part of Gediminas Str., Laisvės All., Vasario 16-ios Str. by the Laisvės All. will be granted the status of the residential area.
90 upward and downward slopes will be provided on the pavements at the intersections and public transport stops. Another 200 curbs will be lowered and adapted for cycling.
• BICYCLE HOLDERS
1000 new bicycle holders will be installed in the city center, at cultural institutions, cafes, and other attractions.
• “LIKE BIKE” SIGN
All cyclist friendly institutions are welcome to mark areas near their offices with “Like Bike” sing and join the single bicycle lovers’ family on Facebook social network “Like Bike Kaunas” site.
More information at http://likebike.kaunas.lt
Public Relations Department Information
May Kaunas City always remain the symbol of Lithuanian strength. 07/03/98
Former President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus