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Cycle safely

Cycle lane or roadway? Where am I allowed to ride, where do I have to ride? Is my child allowed to cycle on the road? We give you the answers and make you fit for cycling in city traffic.

Increasing the safety of cyclists in Bonn is a particularly important goal. In addition to the improvement of bike paths and bike lanes in the city traffic, this includes preventive work for more traffic safety, for example:

  • speed control actions of motor vehicle traffic,
  • parking control measures to ensure good visibility between motorists and cyclists and avoidance of illegal parking on bicycle paths and sidewalks,
  • checks on the roadworthiness of bicycles,
  • police actions in schools and kindergartens in Bonn.

There are diffenrent types of bike lanes in Bonn. Here we show you some special types and explain the most important traffic rules:

Traffic rules

The green arrow allows cyclists to turn when the traffic lights show red but the way is clear.

Mutual consideration is the top priority for everyone in the city traffic. We recommend to wear always a helmet. In Germany, helmets are generally not compulsory. Nevertheless, anyone who rides a bicycle in city traffic would do well to protect themselves as best as possible. Children in particular should definitely wear a bicycle helmet.

These are important traffic rules for cyclists and cardrivers:

  1. Car drivers who overtake cyclists must keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters. If the lane is too narrow for this safety distance, the driver must wait until the lane is wider or the lane in the opposite direction is free and may only overtake then.
  2. For some time now, there has been a special traffic sign for cyclists: it shows a green arrow that only allows cyclists to turn – even though the traffic lights show red. But beware, you must stop beforehand and look around to see if the way is clear. 
  3. Cyclists may ride side by side in road traffic as long as they do not obstruct other road users.
  4. A general no-stopping rule applies on all bike lanes. It is not permitted to stop or park a car here.
  5. Bonn's pedestrian zones: All pedestrians should be able to move around here in a relaxed and safe manner, meet, stroll and enjoy culture and leisure. The pedestrian zone is basically reserved for pedestrians, but so that cyclists can also reach their destination quickly, routes and areas are offered where cycling is permitted. Here you find more information and maps about the  regulations for use (in German).
  6. Special rules for children:
    • Children up to the age of eight must ride on the sidewalk.
    • Children aged nine and ten may ride on the sidewalk as well as on the road or bike path.
    • Children eleven years of age and older must generally use the roadway or bike lanes.
    • Children riding on the sidewalk must push their bikes across street intersections.

Types of bicycle lanes

Where there is a blue traffic sign with a white bicycle, cyclists must use the bicycle lane. If this sign is not present, cyclists may also use the roadway for motor traffic – even if a bike lane is present. These bike lanes are so-called "other bike lanes" with voluntary use.

Other traffic signs indicate, for example, the shared use of paths for cyclists and pedestrians.

Fahrradstraße ("bicycle road")

A bicycle road is a road reserved for cyclists! Cars are only guests. In a bicycle road, the speed limit is 30 kilometers per hour. In order not to endanger or obstruct anyone, it may be necessary to drive even slower.

Bicyclists may ride side by side at any time. Motor vehicle drivers must be subordinate.

Bicycle roads are used where bicycle traffic is the predominant mode of transportation or the street is located on a major route for bicycle traffic.

Umweltspuren ("environmental lanes")

Environmental lanes are special lanes and are only open to cyclists and public transport. This way they are to get through the city faster. To protect cyclists, the following always applies: cyclists may only be overtaken with a safety distance of 1.5 meters. This is not feasible in the case of the environmental lanes with their solid line. Therefore, buses are not allowed to overtake cyclists there.

Further information

If you want to know even more about traffic signs or traffic routes for cyclists, you can find detailed information here (in German).