12 July 2011

Budapest Bicycle Signage

I'm lovin' this new sign in Budapest. Spotted on Critical Mass Hungary's FB page.
Nobody promotes cycling so positively as those brilliant Hungarians.


Debt Consolidation Nation said...

Does that mean "car love bicycle"??? We need those in Australia

aronman said...

car wants to by a cyclist:)

BB said...

and still most of the cyclist are riding on the sidewalk among pedestrians. a sign doesn't make biking culture...

Peter Bocz said...

Wrong. _Some_ beginners do. Most use the road properly.

hf said...

This post gives us support and strength. Thanks, Mikael! :)

Anonymous said...

Very nice but we need some proof that this works, or even that the non-loving see it.

In the USA several states pass laws requiring motor vehicles to give cyclists 3ft (about 1m) when passing, but I have seen no proof that this does anything except create a little awareness. But boosters publicly say that it will make a big difference, while the head of the cycling coalition in one state told me privately that he thought it was just about awareness.

There is good communication - and by the way I am 1/4 to 3/4 Hungarian depending on who you ask - and there are good solutions: This sign looks to be on a 50km/h street, right? If this was on a 50km/h street in Copenhagen you would be laughing at it, Mikael.

Please don't patronize people in "Eastern Europe" as you have done in Spain. They deserve the same infra. as Northerners, just like they have same highways, iPhones and whatnot. If indeed the Hungaraians and Budapesters are making some real changes, tell us what they are, with statistics.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, as this sign proves it, the Hungarian hardcore cycling community promotes vehicular cycling, instead of demanding segregated bike infrastructure like the dutch and danish model. On the other hand the sign is funny :).

Anonymous said...

I would guess that the "hardcore cycling community" and most groups which support normal, boring cycling (the non-fashion conscious version of Cycle Chic TM) are not promoting VC as much as they are overselling the good feel without the real deal. Car companies can put this graphic on their website as part of their "community engagement" strategy.

Greg Spencer said...

Give the Budapest cycling movement credit. Since the city's first Critical Mass ride was held in 2004, cycling levels have grown tremendously. Anyone who's been here during this period will confirm this. There is no citywide figure for modal share, but the bike traffic monitoring that has been done shows impressive numbers: http://cyclingsolution.blogspot.com/2010/09/heavy-traffic-on-little-ring-road.html.
Sure Hungarians deserve the cycling infrastructure of Copenhagen, but you don't get there overnight. Here's a post I did that puts the car-loves-bike sign in some context: http://cyclingsolution.blogspot.com/2011/07/pictograms-bridge-differences-on-margit.html

dmitrigruber said...

Hey, my comment is off topic. I'm a bike lover and messenger from Vienna and i'm visiting Copenhagen right now. I spent my day chasing couriers and searching for cheap hotels, both rather unsuccesful ;)
Does anybody wanna meet up for a ride or a drink? I'm in staying 'till tuesday noon.

Here's my email: dmitri.gruber@gmail.com
And here's my homepage: www.simongraf.com

I would be pleased to meet you,


Stacy said...

Hello! I just found this article in our local paper from London, Ontario Canada and thought you would like it. London is absolutely a 'car city' so it's nice to see something like this in the paper!


All the best,


Mikael said...

To the 1/4 Hungarian person: read the blog. We cover these topics and have done for four years. And Hungary is in Central Europe. Calling it Eastern Europe is a faux pas.

Anonymous said...

@Mikael- Eastern Europe was in quotes. Surely someone with a "literary background" such as yourself knows what that means.

@Greg - Why no hard numbers on modal split? Why do you leave "...naturally, no city administration wants to go there." - your opinion that sacrificing motor vehicle space is politically impossible - to the end of your blog entry? That is the reality which that sign symbolizes. Shared Space is not working for cyclists (check the "View from the Cycle Path" blog) and it sounds like pedestrians get a raw deal here, and without further infrastructure improvements - and hopeful further increases in bike modal split - it will just get worse for them.

It is great how you illustrate the sliminess of the Budapest politicians and unfortunate that you end up falling into some of the same wishy-washy-ness in communication.

Greg Spencer said...

To Anonymous part-Hungarian person,

You ask why Budapest doesn't have hard data on cycling modal share. It's because City Hall hasn't funded a bike traffic count since the early '90s. And the reason it hasn't done that -- to anticipate your question -- is because the city administrators haven't made cycling enough of a priority. It's crazy, but the only systematic bike traffic counting that we have is done on the Little Ring Road by an automated bike counter -- paid for entirely through small, private donations. That's cool or sad, depending on how you look at it. If you want to get to the bottom of this, please phone the mayor's office at 361-327-1000. Your anonymous blog comments are certainly appreciated, but I'm not sure they're reaching the people who can actually make a difference.

I guess I'm not surprised that the Dutch blog 'View from the Bike Path' looks askance at the concept of shared space. In the Netherlands, shared space has been a step backwards for cyclists: Implementation of this concept has involved the removal of cycle tracks! Imagine that! On Budapest's Margit Hid, it's a slightly different context: the bridge never had cycling tracks (or cycling anything!) to begin with. In fact, there's not a single, proper cycling track in the whole city.

I agree with you that that sucks. I really wish Budapest had better cycling facilities, and I'm sorry that I have to celebrate such meager advances as the creation of a pseudo-bike lane that bloggers from the Netherlands wouldn't deign to spit on. But I'm living and bicycling in Budapest, and I feel obliged to give local cycling activists their due -- even when they don't achieve everything I want them to.

Needless to say, though, I would welcome the help of a hard-hitting anonymous comment poster such as yourself if you could come to Budapest and set some higher standards.