Since 2010, the Polish capital Warsaw has been taking action to develop its cycling network. The aim is to develop cycling as a transport mode in the city, in addition to cycling being seen as a recreational activity. A challenge was to ensure that, while cycling infrastructure improved, safety was maintained and the needs of other users of the transport system, particularly pedestrians, were also respected.

 EST GOES EAST Bike lane symbol Warsaw cycling

Timescales: 2010 onwards

In order to balance such concerns, Warsaw uses a set of principles to guide the development of its cycling network. The first of these is that the system should be coherent. This underlines that the various elements of the cycling network should link all potential end and starting points, as well as connect the city’s network to those of the surrounding region. The second principle is directness, i.e. that the cycle network should facilitate easy, fast and direct travel by bicycle around the city, in order to enable cycling to better compete with the car.

The third principle is convenience, which relates to the design of the infrastructure. This underlines that the various elements of the cycling network should be designed and constructed to the highest standards. Another important principle was the attractiveness of the system. This aims to ensure that people are able to use the cycling network to take them to where they wanted to go, e.g. to access municipal functions, and that the system was responsive to the needs of its users.

Last, but by no means least, was that the system should be safe. This principle underlines that the system should be designed to minimise the number of points at which bicycles interact with motorised transport in order to reduce the risk of collisions. Similarly, interactions with pedestrians should be minimised, and so cycle routes should be developed, as far as is possible, to be separate from the pavements used by pedestrians.

In addition to the development of its cycle network, Warsaw had also planned for the widespread installation of bicycle parking facilities and enabling bicycles to be taken by mass transportation.   


Capital City of Warsaw (2010) (downloadable from