Aalborg introduces cycling against the direction of traffic in 10 one-way streets

| September 15, 2017

One-way street in Aalborg that is now open for cyclists in both directions

This spring, the Municipality of Aalborg allowed cycling against the direction of traffic on 10 one-way streets in central Aalborg. A cheap and simple initiative signaling that cyclists are prioritized more and more in Aalborg.

The discussion about cycling against traffic on one-way streets has been a sensitive political subject. With increasing political support, an important initiative has now shown that there is a will to make it easier to be a cyclist in Aalborg.

Alderman in the City and Landscape Administration, Hans Henrik Henriksen says:

”The city council has an ambition to develop Aalborg and make it an even more attractive city, and the bike plays an important part in that. The bike counteracts congestion and benefits both the environment and public health. By making more people cycle there will be more space for city life.”

New throughways save time for the cyclists

The purpose of the new throughways is to ease the way for cyclists along routes that many cyclists already use today – where conditions allow. Of course it means increased accessibility to be able to cycle against the direction on one-way streets since it often saves the cyclist going a longer way around.

The project has focused on the low-hanging fruits. Thus, the 10 streets have been chosen according to their importance for cyclists and on the condition that cycling against the direction on one-way streets could be established without great physical changes. The initiative has been simple with signs and markings on the road (so-called ‘ties’) and approval from the police. The solution has been used in smaller streets with limited local traffic.

In order to help road users, the changes were supplied with green lights and markings on the road to make the routes very clear in both directions for a period of time. ”The opening day” was marked with a small event where the local press turned up and it was possible to talk to employees from Aalborg Bicycle City (Aalborg Cykelby), who were handing out bicycle bells amongst other things.

So far the initiative has had a positive response. The cyclists are very positive, and it has not created dissatisfaction amongst the other road users. The Municipality of Aalborg is assessing the initiative continuously and will decide whether it should be used on other roads in the city. The initiative is supported from by the Danish Cyclists’ Federation’s local branch in Aalborg.

One-way traffic in short

Same route out and back – no detours

Aalborg’s one-way traffic system was originally used to regulate car traffic but is still in use in many places for cyclists too. It increases accessibility for cyclists to be able to cycle against the direction of traffic on a one-way street as it often saves going a longer way around.

Where a ”One Way Street” sign only regulates access in one place, this will often be able to be replaced by a ”No entry for motor vehicles” sign so that cycling is allowed past the point of the sign. The police are positive about this so-called ‘sign solution.’

With ‘genuine’ one-way streets, there are two approaches. The ‘tie’ (road markings) solution is something with which Copenhagen has had good experiences. Here, the fact that cycling is allowed in both directions is marked solely with signs and markings on the road on both sides of the crossing. The advantage is that car parking can usually be kept as it is. The alternative is a solution with a bicycle lane thoroughfare, which is a good solution for cyclists. The problem is that on smaller streets (where the ‘tie’ solution would be enough), you have to take away the parking to make space for the bicycle lane in order to fulfill the main traffic regulations.


Category: Infrastructure, Newsletter, Newsletters in English, The Municipality of Aalborg

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