Who's tackling it?

By Sarah RaparoliLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

"Luxembourg city is a fortress." A phrase that is often heard, especially on the subject of soft mobility. Is this true? About the potential of the Grand Duchy to turn a car country into a sustainable cycling country from the perspective of three everyday cyclists.

Anyone who is a regular visitor to the Luxembourg Twitter bubble knows that one of the dominant themes there is cycling – or rather the denunciation of the Grand Duchy's non-existent infrastructure. Almost daily, photos are posted of cars spreading out on cycle paths when there is no parking space to be found far and wide.

The "winners", described sarcastically, on Rue Jean Origer in the Gare district are particularly frequent. The city of Luxembourg wanted to put a stop to the unauthorised parkers with several flowerpots. However, there is so much space between them that even delivery vans can easily stop in between. "People park on the bicycle lane or the pavement to leave space for other motorists", says Matthias Geistor, "otherwise you are responsible if traffic jams form. Pedestrians and cyclists can't do much about it. That's why the infrastructures that are not meant for cars are usually the first to be sacrificed".

Everyday life on the bike

Matthias has been a passionate cyclist since childhood. Born in Münsterland, he lived in Essen for some time before moving to Luxembourg in 2012. "For me, using a bicycle was always a matter of course. In Luxembourg, however, you suddenly adapt quickly." At first, he said, he took the car for short distances of a few kilometres, "you suddenly no longer reflect how far away something is, but automatically take the car". However, this habit quickly became a thing of the past. Today, the 36-year-old firefighter from Peppange can't imagine his everyday life without his bike. Doing the shopping, taking the children to school or the way to work – the cargo bike is an all-rounder. "I share a car with my wife, we sold the second one." Does he regret this decision? He laughs. "I regret that I didn't do it that way much earlier."

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