How to cycle in the centre of Bratislava

Obchodná Street is one problematic stretch for cyclists in the capital.

Cyclists and scooter riders wave their way on Obchodná Street.Cyclists and scooter riders wave their way on Obchodná Street. (Source: Jana Liptáková)

Cycling could be an easy way to commute to work and run errands in Bratislava, given the size and landscape of the Slovak capital. In some areas, however, it is not the safest.

In many cities bicycles are an alternative to increasingly unsustainable transport by passenger cars. The Slovak capital has not tapped the complete potential of this mode of transport. In Vienna, for example, pedestrians and bicycles account for 30 percent of traffic in the city. In Bratislava, the share is estimated at 1 percent, the Bratislava city council writes on its website.

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Problematic stretches, like the Danube embankment along the River Park development, or the shopping street running through the very centre, Obchodná Street, discourage people from getting on their bikes more often to travel around the city.

“I don't like to pass Obchodná Street by bike as I don’t know which way I should go,” Simona Koperníková told The Slovak Spectator. She once helped a woman who fell off her bike on this street after the bike’s front wheel got stuck in a tram rail. “I either weave my way around trams, fearing that I might fall on the rails, or around pedestrians on the sidewalk, endangering them even though I'm cycling slowly.”

The case of Obchodná

Obchodná is part of the green cycling route. Its horizontal marking ends just before the start of the pedestrian zone on Obchodná from Radlinského Street.

“A cyclist can choose whether to cycle between the tram’s rails or use the space closer to the buildings,” Dan Kollár, president of the Cyklokoalícia civic association that supports the development of bicycle transport in Slovakia, told The Slovak Spectator.

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