The City of Tübingen has opened its first bike lane for speed pedelecs. That is the start of a complete speed pedelec network, which will be further developed in the next few months.
Speed pedelecs may ride to their full potential (‘’freie Fahrt’’) in a bicycle tunnel between Haagtor and the Aleenbrücke which is in the inner city of Tübingen. Due to a change in the regulation, a special road sign has been created with the inscription ‘’S-Pedelec-Frei’’. This sign is placed by order of the mayor at the tunnel’s entrances and distinguishes itself from another road sign with the inscription of maximum 30 km/h.
The Ministry of Transport of the Baden-Württemberg region had to officially acknowledge the road sign proposal made by the mayor of Tübingen. From now on, it must be clarified whether you can ride your speed pedelec up to a speed of 30 km/h or 45 km/h. Everyone is benefitting from this clarification, not only speed pedelecs but also other cyclists. ‘’Tübingen is probably the first municipality in BW or even nationwide, to have such regulation’’, mayor Boris Palmer explained. To our knowledge this sign is the first in the world!
The mayor continues: ‘’Inaccurate traffic regulations for speed pedelecs hampered the uptake of this vehicle. So far, only +- 1% of all e-bikes being sold are speed pedelecs in Germany. For comparison, in our neighbouring country Switzerland, 20% of all commuters use a speed pedelec.” By creating better conditions, the mayor hopes to encourage the use of speed pedelecs: ‘’A speed pedelec is a sustainable mode of transport and can help to reduce traffic congestion in our city.”
Tübingen will be developing a connected network for speed pedelecs, making it possible to cross the city from various directions on attractive routes. In the following months, 80 road signs need to be installed along the network to achieve this goal. As a road user, you can check on the city’s website how much progression has been made yet.
In preparation of this remarkable change, the mayor has been consulting with the Ministries of Berlin and Stuttgart since 2013. He pointed out that this change is overdue and should have been implemented way earlier. He concludes: ‘’The argument that speed pedelecs do not belong on bike lanes because they can go up to 45 km/h is just not fair. Take the example of allowing a Porsche in zone 30 areas although they could theoretically drive 300 km/h.”