Cracow Cycling Policy

Cracow cycling policies date back to early 90's, when Polski Klub Ekologiczny (PKE, Polish Ecological Club, member of Friends of the Earth International and other NGO lobbied for cycling infrastructure. The first bicycle actions in Cracow happened as early as in 1987, led by Tadeusz Kopta, a traffic engineer, expert with PKE and avid cyclist. In 1993, the Municipality of Cracow developed its transport policy, then considered one of the most progressive in Poland and aimed at curbing car transport and fostering public transport and bicycles. Unfortunately, the policy has never been implemented and the realpolitk was just the opposite - heavy funding for cars. The only exception was limited car access to the downtown area that started in the 80 and maintained since then.

First bicyce routes in Cracow were built under the Communist regime in the 50's in the Nowa Huta district (then a separate industrial town). However, they have never been used as planned. At first, the broad Nowa Huta streets were almost empty and simply more comfortable for cyclists. In fact, there were few cyclists in Cracow or Nowa Huta, as public transport was heavily subsidized and very cheap. Bicycles were apparently seen as "rural" means of transport in the rapidly industrialized (Communist way) Poland. Then cars became more popular and immediately occupied the cycleways as ideal parking lots. Cycling was forgotten for a very long time. You can still see these cycleways used as parking places in Nowa Huta or at Rondo Mogilskie dowtown; they are unusable for cycling.

First new cycleway was built (or painted, rather) in 1990 near Błonia fields in Aleja 3 Maja Avenue in the recreational area of the city. Then, the Vistula River bank route followed - a long cycling corridor, if hard to access from many parts of the city. In 1992, the first "commuting" cycleway was commissioned. It linked the downtown area with Widok housing estates west of the city centre. The solutions adopted and the total quality of the cycleway was rather poor and the cycleway never became very popular. In 1994, another cycleway was built to link all three routes - and this was a calamity. All users complained that it is an obstacle to cycling, not a facility.

Now, the Cracow Cycling Policy includes:
However they are not officially formulated, the policy short-time goals are to:
The short-term goals do not need being officially formulated, as they are embedded in the procedures now implemented (notably the Bicycle Audit).

Medium time goals (again: not officially formulated) are to:

These goals have been formulated by submitting the proposal for EU funding for the core cycleway system and by commissioning the cycling implementation plan.

Please, see the cycleway maps in the Cycling in Cracow page.