Bicycling 
in 
Muenster, Germany

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Bicycling as a Mode of Transportation

Bicycle Education and Promotion in Muenster

Signs and Bike Ways in Muenster

Bicycle Parking in Muenster

References


The following comments are excerpted and directly  quoted from a report "FHWA Study Tour for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety in England, Germany, and The Netherlands,  October 1994"

Except for the pictures with attribution the photos were taken by Gilbert N. Hanson over the period January through July, 2000. My comments are in italic.


Signs and Bike Ways in Muenster

On-street bike lanes are installed on the street level and are typically painted red or installed with a red pavement surface. This type of facility is generally less expensive to install than off-street facilities.  Off-street bike lanes are sometimes installed on the sidewalk level. Generally marked with a distinctive red color (which contrasts with the gray stone used for pedestrians and the clear zone between the street and bike path), these lanes provide a greater separation between the bicyclists and motor vehicles. When a parking lane exists, this separation allows room to open car doors without obstructing the bike path.

As observed in Munster, bike paths are typically 1.6 m wide (one direction on each side of the street), and the separation between cars and the bike path is generally 0.7 m wide. Some areas are narrower in cases where sufficient room does not exist. This type of facility was originally promoted in the 1940's as a means to eliminate the "hindrance" to cars caused by bikes. They are now retained to separate cars and bicyclists for safety purposes.

Bike tracks are generally paths through the countryside and are signed routes. They are generally not paved. 

Bus lanes that can also be used by bikes require a width of 4.5 m or more to allow buses to easily and safely overtake cyclists when necessary. These facilities are signed and marked with a bus and bike symbol. 

Intersection improvements that facilitate bike travel include an advance stop line that allows bicyclists to exit sidewalk paths to turn left in front of motorized traffic. This allows a safer path for left-turning cyclists, provides better visual contact between bikes and cars, and allows cyclists to be away from vehicle exhaust. This design has been found to be safer than the traditional weave condition. Other signal treatments include special advance green for cyclists, and in some cases signals timed for cycle traffic (based on a signal progression of approximately 9 mph). It was also observed during site visits that traffic signal heads in Munster had 1 green cycle signal and 2 red cycle signal heads. This was done to improve visibility of the red cycle signal.

Bicycle lanes with continuous lane markings are reserved solely for bicyclists. If the lane line is dashed, cars and trucks may use the space only when no
bicycle is present.  

Bicycle lanes are slightly elevated, which was mentioned as a potential safety problem, since bicyclists may lose control or overturn when they hit the
raised edge of the bike lane. 

Some of the following images are thumbnails. To get a larger image click on them.

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Bike lane is on sidewalk level. Bikes must travel in the same direction as traffic. That is you must travel on the right side of the road. The red area is for bikes the gray area on right is for pedestrians. Note the sign. 

Sign on path for both bicyclers and pedestrians.

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Bike and pedestrian path through farm area.

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Stone bicycle and pedestrian path. Note bicycle path is made from red stone, pedestrian from gray stone.

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At this intersection when the light is red cars must stop behind the lower white line. Bicycles can wait between the two white lines. Bicycles enter this area from the red bike path on the right. Note the arrows on bike path and the entrance into the bike waiting zone.

Photo is from "Program fahrradfreundliche Stadt Muenster".

bike-intersection-2.jpg (30791 bytes)

At this intersection the cars on a red light  wait behind the lower white line. Bicycles have a separate left turn lane. Note how the bicyclers enter the left turn lane at a red light for the cars.

Photo is from "Program fahrradfreundliche Stadt Muenster".

Dead end road only for residents with motorcycles and cars. Bicycles permitted.

Hundred water castle bike route sign "Die 100 Schlösser Route". A description of the 100 water castles (Wasserschlösser) can be found at this site http://www.germanlife.com/Archives/1996/9608_01.html

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Bicycle and foot path through the Rieselfelder (link is in German) a European Bird Sanctuary which includes "Die 100 Schlösser Route"

Sign along bicycle path. Gelmer is 6.5 kilometers. Sprakel is 6.6 kilometers. They are both part of Muenster City (MS).

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Two red lights for bicycles. Bicycles may go right at any time.

Two red lights for bicycles taking a left turn.

 
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