Increasing the minimum distance between cars and bikes and reducing waiting times for pedestrian traffic lights are among the changes that will make life easier for bikers and walkers. One of the many car-free streets in the city centre of Vienna (Photo by Anton on Unsplash) Austria has a master plan for facing climate change and making its cities better to live in. The country has already an extensive network of public transport – though critics say there is much to be done, and it’s now updating its regulations to improve the lives of cyclists and pedestrians.
The amendments to the highway and traffic code “take the rules for walking and cycling from the 1960s to the 21st century”, Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler (Grüne) said in a press conference this Friday, 29th.
“Only now do pedestrians gain priority,” the minister added.
Along with Andreas Ottenschläger, spokesperson for the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), and Lukas Hammer, mobility spokesperson for the Greens, Gewessler presented a comprehensive reform of the Road Traffic Act (StVO, in German).
What is changing that will benefit pedestrians?
The government’s amendments aim to give higher priority to both pedestrians and cyclists, and pavements will have to be kept “free of vehicles and obstacles” with the new regulation.
At least one and a half metres of space needs to be reserved for people who are walking. READ ALSO: What you need to know about cycling in Austria Perhaps most noticeably, the government announced traffic lights will change so pedestrians can cross […]