Prague cyclists seek brake on city centre ban
The cyclists’ association Auto*Mat has lodged a court complaint against Prague 1 district council’s move to introduce a daytime ban on bikes in large parts of the city centre. The organisation, which is promoting cycling in the city, has also called on the City Hall to review the matter, arguing that the ban is exaggerated and illegal.
According to Prague 1 councillors, the ban is aimed mainly at tourists using electric scooters, which have replaced the popular Segways. At the same time, they claim they have received dozens of complaints from pedestrians, who say they feel threatened by cyclists.
Vratislav Filler of Auto*Mat admits that there are cyclists who ride recklessly, but points out that the new ban will affect all cyclists, regardless of their attitude.
According to Filler, there are a number of measures that could be introduced to improve conditions for both cyclists and pedestrians in the centre of Prague:
“There is a need for safe cycle paths through the city centre, at least for one. At the moment, there are no such paths in the city centre. There are also many one-way roads around the pedestrian zones, which can be made two-way for cyclists. So they could bypass the zones easily.
“There are some places where the pedestrian zones are unavoidable which are crucial for cyclists and there the speed could be limited to 10 kilometres an hour.”
“City Hall has quite a positive attitude towards cycling. There are strategies to improve conditions for cyclists. On the local level, however, councillors are not interested in cycling and their decisions neglect the effect on cyclists.”
A petition against the restriction of cycling in the city centre signed by around 1,300 people will be debated at the City Hall on Thursday.
Vratislav Filler from the NGO Auto*Mat says they will wait for the court ruling but he believes they have quite a good chance that this restriction will be overturned.