© RTL Télé
Recent figures on cycling accidents alongside testimonials from readers seem to suggest that Luxembourg is not as cycling-friendly as thought or hoped.
An October 2015 report dedicated to cycling investigated the matter after the then-Ministry of Transport presented an ambitious plan at a press conference. The plan mainly concerned building and connected 225 kilometres of cycling routes throughout the country by 2021. Four years after the plan was presented, RTL spoke to those in charge of the non-profit Luxembourgish Cycling Initiative (Lëtzebuerger Vëlos-Initiativ - LVI), asking whether Luxembourg is becoming a cycling-friendly country?
To return to the figures, in 2018 the authorities built 19.1 kilometres of cycling routes and a further 18.3 km were in the process of being built. The plan was also to build a further 77, whilst studies were in progress for an additional 221 km of routes.
At the 2015 press conference, then-Minister for Transport François Bausch put a special emphasis on building cycling routes along railways, which would also pass by ArcelorMittal land. LVI member Philippe Herkrath had a different perspective, pointing out that even once the infrastructure is built, it can take a long time for the relevant authorisations to be approved.
In Strassen, the situation is a different one. The local residents mobilised at the end of May to demand a one-way cycling route to ensure cyclists do not have to navigate the at-times dangerous Route d'Arlon. Given the uproar, the necessary authorisation was completed in a matter of days.
The heads of the LVI understand having not-especially separated cycling lanes in 30 km/h zones, but are clear that bigger roads with a lot of traffic must have separate areas to protect cyclists. Regardless, work remains to be done. A recently approved draft bill shows that 430 km worth of separated cycling lanes are yet to be built.