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Cyclists Berlin
Photograph: hanohiki /

Berlin is building a massive cycle superhighway stretching right across the city

The 38-kilometre route is going to make getting around the city by bike easier than ever

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

Cycling is good for your health and great for the planet. But it’s often pretty difficult in a city, what with all the buses and commuters and general urban busyness. Travelling on two wheels can feel pretty damn dangerous, and that can be off-putting.

But some cities are doing more than others make cyclists feel safe. Take Berlin, which has just announced it is building a 37-kilometre cycling superhighway stretching right across the city. The ‘Ost-West-Route’ (East-West Route) will pass through six districts: Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Lichtenberg, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Mitte, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Spandau, and will pass near the homes of 513,000 inhabitants.

The first part of the route will be built next year, starting at the eastern edge of the Berlin metropolitan area. Because the route passes along existing travel routes, it’s hoped the plans should get 7,000 more people cycling each day – saving at least 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

Germany’s second city, Hamburg, is also going big on bike paths. It is planning a brand-new €11.5 million (£9.6 million or $12.5 million) superhighway connecting the city up with a 300-kilometre network of countryside cycle paths. Seems Germany is rivalling the bike-mad northern European likes of Denmark and the Netherlands – and good thing!

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