Dutch-style bicycle paths for Yekaterinburg

Moskovskaya-Bolshakova intersection

Bolshakova street is a west-east corridor in the southern part of Yekaterinburg’s central district. Potentially it can be a very important bicycle route as it is the only way in the foreseeable future to connect South-West district and the new Akademicheskii district to the downtown.

In 2011 the city initiated a plan to widen the street to full 4 lanes with right-turning lanes at intersections. The original project was only about widening the carriageway and leaving the rest of the street, including crumbling sidewalks, as it was then. That didn’t seem right to me as I thought that improvements should be addressed to all the street users and not just the motorists. I started a campaign proposing to improve the public realm and to include bicycle paths into the plan. Rather suprisingly this campaign succeded.

In October 2012 the city placed an order for a new project of this street. The technical assignment included a point that stated that the engineers were to take my design propasal into consideration which by that time was in a form of CAD-drawing, ready to become a base for the real project.

Unfortunately 6 months of negotiations ended-up with almost nothing. The final project was primarily car-oriented, the bicycle part being one big compromise and the pedestrian realm left almost unattended. Neither the city officials, nor the engineering company that won the project had the ambition to do anything above the average level of design in Russia.

So the only option left to me was to transform my drawings into a comprehensible form and turn to public again. Below you can see 3-dimensional renderings of Bolshakova street between Moskovskaya and 8 Marta streets (best viewed in full-screen mode).

The intention of this post is to attract some international attention to this project and collect reviews of people interested in bicycle infrastructure from around the world. So, if you have something to say, you are more than welcome!

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