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How to build a bike lane in 10 days

Australian cities could swing back into action sooner than first thought if a Dutch guide to building pop-up bike lanes is followed.

Instead of months or years, the guidebook by Netherlands-based urban design consultancy Mobycon shows how bike lanes can be installed in just 10 days by following 11 steps.

The guidebook has been published specifically to help cities create cycling spaces that allow people to travel while maintaining physical distancing of 1.5 metres.

Many Australians are still being asked to work from home because physical distancing makes public transport difficult and our roads cannot cope with increased car traffic.

However, if road space was transformed to give people protected bike lanes with enough room to keep 1.5 metres, we could start going back to work, which would bring life back to our cities and jumpstart the economy.

Mobycon's guide is based on the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district in Berlin which was one of the first places to begin installing pop-up bike lanes as a response to COVID-19.

Many traffic lanes and car parking spaces in the district have been transformed into protected cycleways by using striking yellow line marking and moveable bollards.

The 11 steps in the Making Safe Space for Cycling in 10 Days guide are:
  1. Create a project list of the streets and crossings to be adapted, including
  2. Draft an action sheet for each project identifying
  3. Enable quick implementation
  4. Formally designate measures with the relevant authority
  5. Develop communications plan and notification signage
  6. Implement signage and marking:
  7. Submit finalized traffic signage plan to the relevant authority
  8. Finalize designation with relevant authority
  9. Evaluate measure with the relevant authority(ies)
  10. Adjust and modify (if necessary)
  11. Complete measure
A pop-up bike lane in Friedrichshain - Kreuzberg, Berlin. (Source: Peter Boytman Creative Commons CC0 1.0)

Within each step are a number of simple directions, like deciding what materials will be used to create the bike lane and when deadlines need to be set so the bike lane is up and running within 10 days.

The guide also has examples and plan drawings from bike lanes installed in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district, as well as a project schedule.

It is a handy document that should find its way into Australia's transport departments and land on the desks of planners at all councils.

The guide could accompany Bicycle Network's Pedalling to a better normal plan which proposes 750 kilometres of pop-up bike lanes around the country.

You can download Mobycon's Making Safe Space for Cycling in 10 Days guide here.

Download guide

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.

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