Plans to boost cycle paths in Switzerland have convinced campaigners to shelve a people’s initiative demanding wholesale improvements for bicycle users.
The initiative, with 105,000 signatures, was handed in to the Federal Chancellery a year ago. In addition to an expansion of the national cycle path network, the initiative also demanded enough parking space for bicycles, zones with 30-kilometre-per-hour (19mph) speed restrictions, a system of fast- and slow track lanes, fewer traffic lights, and an increased awareness of the needs of non-motorised two-wheelers in urban planning.
The initiative would have forced a vote on the issue, but the government put forward a counter-proposal to enshrine access to cycle paths in the Swiss constitution.
The initiative was formally withdrawn on Friday after parliament showed broad support for the plan to put cycle paths on the same footing as walking and hiking trails in the Swiss constitution. This paves the way for the cycling path network, which currently falls far behind the 24,000 kilometres (14,900 miles) of Swiss hiking trails, to be expanded.
"A network of safe cycle paths makes cycling more attractive – even more people will switch to bicycles or e-bikes,” Swiss Cycling Association president and vice-president of initiative committee, Evi Allemann, said in a statement.