Genk introduces new urban bicycle network
Genk has inaugurated a new bicycle network, ‘Fietsnet Genk’, that connects all areas and remote corners of the city. With the new bicycle project, Genk wants to present itself more as a bicycle city. Genk is, by its own account, the greenest regional capital of Flanders, a city that is entirely accessible to the bike.
“That is why we developed a map that is comparable with a subway map,” explains the Genk Alderman for Mobility, Michaël Dhoore (CD&V). The map has seven visible bicycle routes, each in its own color, to guide cyclists easily to all corners of the city. The colors of the routes are indicated on the map and the road surface itself.
A similar bicycle system was introduced successfully in Houten (the Netherlands), a city that was already declared twice to be ‘thé bicycle city of the Netherlands’.
The new functional network in Genk furthermore is supplementary to the existing bicycle network in Limburg, which focuses more on recreation and tourism. “Our main goal is to win Genk citizens over to use the bike, not only for fun but also for functional trips,” says Wim Dries (CD&V), Mayor of Genk.
Digital route planner
Apart from the map and the signposting on the bicycle paths, the city also developed a digital route planner. It informs the user about the distance and time needed to go from one place to another with a traditional bicycle or an e-bike. “Cyclists can now opt for the fastest route or choose the junction network with the most beautiful spots,” Wim Dries concludes.