Our group is focused on reviewing existing bike lanes and finding potential points for improvement. We know that there are a lot of prospective elements of the selected area that are in desperate need of an upgrade.
The expected result is the proposition of consistent bike lanes throughout the area that lacks this kind of infrastructure. Belgrade is a large city with no metro transportation. The traffic infrastructure is no longer handling the number of cars per resident, so many people are changing their preferred transport option to bicycles.
We are hoping that this is going to be the starting point for new and improved bike lanes throughout the city of Belgrade.
The location is Zemun, a municipality of the city of Belgrade. It is on the right bank of the Danube, where the widening of the Danube begins and the Great War Island is formed at the confluence with the Sava river. One of the most interesting things about this location in Belgrade is the waterfront. The view that stretches across the Danube and on to the coast of Great War Island is memorable. Existing bike lanes are mainly positioned on the waterfront. The urban area (center of Zemun) is lacking the bike lanes.
We had two bike routes.
FIRST: from the Municipality Hall of Belgrade alongside the coast of Danube to the end of the waterfront in Zemun.
SECOND: from the end of the waterfront (or beginning) through the urban area of Zemun, to the “Student City” of Belgrade, located in New Belgrade Municipality.
The first route is more used by the people for recreational cycling, and the second is used more by people doing daily activities or running errands (going to the market, cafe, the post office, etc.)
Our two tracks combined are around 10 km (5 km each). We documented our riding trip location with the OsmAnd Application, where we recorded our track, took some photos, videos, and put markers with notes on important places.
Recognizing the elements of bikeability
The first route started from the Municipality Hall of New Belgrade. There was a bike path, integrated with pedestrian paths in the urban area, but with a different pavement, all the way to the starting point on the Zemun Waterfront. As we got to the waterfront there were signs that show us in which way should we ride our bikes depending on where we want to get. At one part of the waterfront, there were isolated bike lines with good signalization and pavement, materials, in natural surroundings.
As we go further to the Zemun Municipality, alongside the waterfront, the isolated bike path transforms into an integrated bike path with pedestrian paths and at one point there is no bike path at all. In one part of the tour where there are no bike paths, there are two levels of waterfront, one near the water, and one above it. The first one has stone slabs as pavement, which is not comfortable for riding a bike. The other one has concrete, but at some point there are holes in the concrete, which makes riding a bike more uncomfortable, considering you’re riding on the same paths where pedestrians are. But at this point, you have an amazing view of the Danube River.
At some point on the pedestrian path, you have to go on the lower level if you want to continue your tour till the end of the waterfront. The ramp that takes you down has macadam as pavement and that is really uncomfortable if you are on a bike. As you go down, the pavement is concrete again, in a good condition. The path alongside the waterfront suddenly ends with no warning sign.
The second path was from the ending point of waterfront, through the historic core of Zemun, to “Student City” (i.e. the dormitory capmus of the Universit of Belgrade) in New Belgrade. At first, we rode a bike alongside parking that has no pavement, only bare land. Then we rode on a street with a macadam pavement.
We rode on that street until we did not reach the Zemun Center, where we pass by the Zemun open market, trying not to collide with pedestrians because there was no bike path. Actually, there was no bike path through the entire center. We rode a bike on pedestrian paths, and at some point on streets.
As we left Zemun and entered New Belgrade, a bike path appeared. This bike path is integrated with pedestrian paths in the urban area, but with a different pavement. There are minor holes in the path at some points. This bike path was present until we got to the “Student City” in New Belgrade.
Types of existing bike paths
- Isolated bike paths with good signalization and pavement, materials, in natural surroundings
Those bike paths are in one part of Zemun waterfront. You can ride your bike in natural surroundings, away from pedestrians and traffic.
- Integrated bike paths with pedestrian paths in the urban area and alongside the waterfront
This path is connected to an isolated one. The pavement is the same as for pedestrians, and at many points, you have cracks in concrete, and there is a small place where the pavement is stone panels. Pedestrians can walk on a bike path, so you need to be careful.
- Bike paths alongside streets integrated with pedestrian paths in the urban area
This is the most common bike path in our tours. The biggest problem with this type is that pedestrians can walk on a bike path, so you need to be careful. The pavement is mostly good, there are minor holes at some point.
- No bike paths
Along the whole Zemun center, there are no bike paths at all. You need to ride a bike on pedestrian paths, even at some points on the street. You can find a problem with the pavement, like cracks, holes..
Best Regards from Belgrade!
Aleksandra Ljubičić | Nikolina Rašović | Jelena Leković | Anja Popović