Never let it be said that I’m ungrateful for the cycling facilities we have. I’m happy to find and praise good facilities when I come across them. This excellent example in Tübingen will do for a start.

Someone planning this bike lane has actually thought about what they are doing. instead of bike lanes being painted onto the roads so they can be utilised as additional free parking, or  running around the outside of parking spaces conveniently positioning the cyclist to go slamming into a carelessly opened car door, this bike lane runs inside  of the parked cars, thus protecting the cyclist. It even allows some space between car door and cyclist to allow for passengers opening doors without thinking.

This involved the city reducing the number of parking spaces,  (Imagine the hardship caused to drivers unable to park within 10 metres of H&M.) Judging from my totally non-scientific observations, it has also encouraged many children and young people to ride bikes. So far the four horsemen of the apocalypse have failed to appear and the sky has not fallen. On the other hand, bike use is high, and you can breathe in the centre.

The Old city is very pretty, and traffic free, something I think should be made mandatory in all towns everywhere for the economic and health benefits alone. I’d suggest it is a far better use of a section of road to have a pavement cafe than for someone to dump their tin box for a couple of hours while they go shopping. And when people don’t use cars they either walk or cycle which is far better for everyone, of course it makes things difficult for people who want to show off their brand new car by by parking it right outside the cafe, but that just shows you can’t please everyone.

It’s only a few kilometres from Stuttgart. I wonder if anyone is looking?

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