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The Score

Vienna has great potential to become a leading city for sustainable transportation if it finally manages to interweave best-practice bicycle infrastructure with its world class public transport system. – Lorenz Siegel, Landscape Architect at Copenhagenize

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The Lowdown

Vienna rocks into the top ten this time around by building upon their strengths. While the City continues with modest investments in on-street cycling infrastructure, the Austrian capital really stands out from the pack through innovative and constructive communication efforts and policy.

The Austrian capital continues to demonstrate a clear understanding of clever and constructive cycling messaging. Their 2018 campaign, #warumfährstDUnicht? (#whydontYOUcycle?) featured relatable people and clean graphic design to flip common excuses on their head. Even Vienna’s contemporaries in the Index could learn a thing or two about communications from their work.

The City’s ability to capitalize on the untapped potential of cargo bikes on urban logistics and city life has made Vienna a frontrunner in the cycling policy arena. For years now, citizens have been able to rent free cargo bikes for running heavier errands. And more recently, a direct subsidy scheme has facilitated the purchase of more than 300 cargo bikes for local Viennese businesses, with plans to extend the offer into 2019.

As for on-the-ground planning in Vienna, cycling infrastructure continues to roll out at a steady pace. Playing catch up with demand, the City has installed 5000 bicycle parking spaces in the past two years and addressed some much needed missing links, including new best practice cycle tracks on Getreidemarkt.

The Fixes

At this point it’s hard to see how Vienna could rank any higher without significant investments in safe and reliable cycling infrastructure. Expecting bicycle riders to share the lane with busses and taxis is outdated and unrealistic. You wouldn’t ask a pedestrian to walk down the middle of Neustiftgasse at rush hour, why should bicycle riders?

(Photo left: Dreamstime)