Karácsony said the municipality had conducted widespread consultation on cycle lanes in Budapest – Photo: MTI

Mayor comes up with a compromise "designed to give everyone something"

Budapest Ring Road to receive permanent bike lane

Budapest's Ring Road linking Petőfi Bridge and Margaret Bridge, a main thoroughfare in the city centre, will be revamped to provide a permanent bike lane and two lanes for cars on the most frequented stretch, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony told a press conference.

In a compromise “designed to give everyone something”, the southern half of the Ring Road will have two lanes for cars and bike lanes on either side, but no parking area on the edge of the road, Karácsony said. From Blaha Lujza Square to northern Margaret Bridge, cars will have one lane in each direction, alongside bike lanes and parking areas, he added.

The municipality set up a temporary bike lane on Ring Road between Váci and Üllői Streets in April, during the first wave of the coronavirus lockdown. Car traffic was restricted to one lane in that area.

Karácsony said the municipality had conducted widespread consultation on cycle lanes in Budapest, adding that the number of cyclists in the city was larger than ever. The Budapest Mobility Plan, accepted during the mayoralty of Karácsony’s predecessor, István Tarlós, had aimed to raise cycle traffic within the city to ten percent, he said. “We have taken big steps in that direction in recent months,” he said.

Earlier, Balázs Fürjes, the state secretary for the development of Budapest and the suburbs, called on Twitter for similar measures, adding that deliveries for shops and parking for the disabled should be maintained.

Samu Balogh, Karácsony’s cabinet office chief, said the changes will be implemented in the first half of September. The municipality will start planning extensive developments along the Ring Road this autumn in terms of its role regarding the city’s trade, culture and image, he said.

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