Sunday, 20 August 2017

Bicycle Paths in the Centre of Bulgaria’s Capital Face Uncertain Future   
29 March 2010 | Central Sofia’s bicycle paths, designated with two yellow lines, are facing an uncertain future as Bulgaria’s capital begins implementing its new city plan, which envisions the construction of additional lanes for bike-riders.

The paths, which were designated four years ago, meander between parked cars and bus stops, go around billboards and sometimes even make 90-degree turns, while avoiding poles and concrete flower pots on the sidewalks. Many of them have faded and almost disappeared.

According to readers of the Dnevnik daily newspaper, the billboard placement plans in the centre of Sofia are overlapping with the current bike lanes. The city’s chief architect, Petar Dikov, however, said that he was not consulted when the paths were painted years ago, and claimed that there was no overlap between the plan for the placement of billboards and the future bicycle paths.

Sofia’s new city plan envisions the creation of three types of bicycle paths, Dnevnik explained. The first kind of lanes pass through the city’s parks and are connected to the residents’ rest and relaxation.

The second type of bike paths are those along Sofia’s main boulevards and smaller streets, which are to be used as alternative transportation by its citizens as they move around the city.

The third kind of lanes are in Sofia’s two main suburbs – Luylin and Mladost, where they are to connect the housing blocks with schools, kindergartens and entertainment spots.

The planned paths, according to the publication, are connected to the already existing lanes in South Park and the National Palace of Culture.
Currently, 2 million leva (around 1 million euro) have been set aside for the construction of the 4868-metre-long bicycle path in Mladost, the only path that is to be completed this year, Dikov told the publication.

In order to avoid the situation of the bike paths in the centre, the obstacles along its route will be removed, representatives of the Sofia municipality vowed.

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