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P. Vileišio Street becomes the first “bicycle street” in Lithuania

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Source: Made in Vilnus

In the Antakalnis district, the newly reconstructed P. Vileišio Street has become the spot in Lithuania where cyclists have equal status with cars, dubbed as a “bicycle street“. The street features a bicycle street road sign and a comprehensive infrastructure designed specifically for cyclists, meeting all necessary requirements.

Dviračių gatvė is a new traffic regulation format in Lithuania, introduced in 2022. While Vilnius previously had bicycle streets, they lacked the complete infrastructure typical of such streets. The full implementation of a bicycle street has now been completed on P. Vileišio Street.

Jonas Simutis, a JUDU expert, describes the street’s unique infrastructure: “On both sides of the roadway, there are 2-meter-wide red asphalt lanes for cyclists. In the center, a strip of cobblestones alerts drivers with vibrations when they drive at higher speeds.

The decision to reconstruct P. Vileišio Street into a bicycle street was made because it is a crucial route for cyclists, while its previous infrastructure was very cyclist-unfriendly. Although it was supposed to be a quiet street, it was heavily used for passenger and goods transport. The new street format and its regulations aim to reduce car traffic and enhance safety and convenience for cyclists.

Traffic Management on Bicycle Streets

The key change on a bicycle street is that cars share the road with cyclists. Cars can still move in both directions on P. Vileišio Street, but drivers are prohibited from overtaking cyclists by crossing into the opposite lane.

All road users must adhere to a 30 km/h speed limit on bicycle streets. Cyclists can ride freely, not only in a line or close to the right edge. Parking is prohibited on bicycle streets, except in designated areas.

Unlike cyclists, motorists must drive as close to the right-hand edge of the carriageway as possible, similar to normal streets. On P. Vileišio Street, this means driving in a circular pattern on the red asphalt lanes and avoiding the central cobblestone strip.

Promoting Cycling Mobility in Lithuanian Cities

The first bicycle street in Lithuania, though not fully developed, was MK Čiurlionios Street in Vilnius. Bicycle street traffic management is also implemented on Krakuva and Z. Sierakauska streets in Vilnius, as well as in Palanga, Kretinga, and Klaipeda.

“P. Vileišio bicycle street marks an important step and a new beginning in developing Vilnius’s bicycle network. As the number of cyclists rapidly increases, more streets will be reconstructed similarly, filling the gaps in the bicycle network. Where it is impractical or unnecessary to build a dedicated bicycle path, bicycle streets will ensure a safe, comfortable, and inviting infrastructure for cyclists,” says a JUDU representative, outlining future plans.

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