Last year, Prague 1 officials passed a controversial ordinance that would prohibit riding bicycles in certain streets and areas of the historic center of Prague 1.
Earlier in 2018, Prague 1 City Hall tabbed April 1 as the starting date of the ban. But a few days into the month, there still seems to be some confusion surrounding the issue.
Citing pedestrian safety in crowded tourist areas – which many ascribe to the rise of two-wheeled electric bikes that have risen in popularity since Prague’s segway ban – the Prague bicycle ban would prohibit cyclists from riding in 23 streets, passages, and squares in the center of Prague’s Old Town district.
The prohibited zones include Old Town Square and neighboring Železná and Celetná streets, Karlova street leading to Charles Bridge, Maiselova street in Josefov, Náměstí Republiky, and the bottom part of Wenceslas Square including parts of 28. Října, Na Můstku, and Na Příkopě streets.
According to the ordinance, riding a bicycle in the affected areas between 10:00 and 17:00 would be prohibited.
But when will it take effect?
“Prague to ban bikes from historic squares and streets,” reads the headline of a Guardian article published today, penned by Robert Tait.
“Cyclists will soon be banned from historic central spots in the Czech capital by officials citing pedestrian safety – yet 1,000 cars will not.”
Local reports, however, suggest the ban may still be in a grey area.
According to Blesk, Prague 1 has fielded more than 50 complaints about the bicycle ban, and is currently in the process of reviewing them before enacting the ban “sometime this spring.”
One of the complaints is from no less than the City of Prague itself.
According to the municipality, the ban is unnecessary and counterproductive, complicating the current traffic situation in the city center.
“The limitation of cycling is justified by the need to ensure safe movement of pedestrians and cyclists,” reads the official complaint. “[However], available data does not suggest that the proposed measure would have a significant impact on pedestrian safety.”
According to official police documents, there have been a total of three accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians over the past ten years in the potentially-affected areas.
Map of the areas affected by the bicycle ban: