What I didn't realise is that bike lanes are also invisible to city transport planners. The City of Mannheim, Germany is building a new tram line in the north of the city which has necessitated shutting 5km or so of track for six weeks during the school holidays. The service is now being covered by buses. At the end of the interruption passengers need to change from the tram to a bus and sometimes wait until one appears. The bus tram interchange at the southern end is by the Mannheim University Hospital just north of a bridge over the River Neckar which is also a main route for cyclists leaving the city centre to get to the northern suburbs and to the hospital. The cyclepath runs on past the site of the temporary bus stop. Unfortunately the road rises over the bridge and then drops past the hospital, so most cyclists let the pig out, i.e. speed up, as they drop down the slope. The two photographs below show that collisions and disturbances are pre-programmed. These were taken on a Saturday afternoon when there are fewer passengers. There are more during the week. Notice how the little hut has been cunningly placed to reduce the amount of space available on the footpath. The red brick area is the cyclepath.
|The bus and tram arrive and the passengers cross to reach the bus, ignoring the cyclepath.|