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Old 04.09.2020, 23:13
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Cycling in Zurich

Hi,

I have recently moved to Zurich for studies and previously in the UK I used my bicycle to get around day-to-day. Apart from the obvious driving on the right side of the road, are there any differences I should know about cycling in Zurich compared to the UK?
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Old 05.09.2020, 09:18
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Re: Cycling in Zurich

A couple of things, make sure your bike is roadwothy, lights, bell, brakes it's actively policed at times. If you use zebra crossings it appears to be a grey area if cars need to give way to you (or maybe it's Zurich drivers!) but they must if you are walking the bike so take your time to see how that works. I would be happy for someone to clarify this.
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Old 05.09.2020, 10:38
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Re: Cycling in Zurich

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Hi,

I have recently moved to Zurich for studies and previously in the UK I used my bicycle to get around day-to-day. Apart from the obvious driving on the right side of the road, are there any differences I should know about cycling in Zurich compared to the UK?
Unless you lived in Sheffield or another U.K. city with tram lines, beware of the tram tracks and always try and cross them at right angles rather than drift across them.

Which brings me nicely to the other big difference - if you fall off your bike - because of aforementioned tram tracks, or to give another example, ice on the roads, you can get fined by the police for careless cycling - even if no other vehicle is involved.

Another point to remember is cars don't routinely signal left at roundabouts when taking the third exit and other times when they indicate, to turn right for example, they indicate late, almost as an afterthought and usually after they have actually started turning. Really useless for another road user such as a cyclist.
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Old 05.09.2020, 11:02
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Re: Cycling in Zurich

I get around by bike - the thing to do is look for the marked cycle routes which tend (not always) to avoid busier roads.

I think Zürich is better than many UK cities for cyclists, and efforts are ongoing to improve infrastructure, but compared to the Netherlands they are quite behind.

I was recently in Amsterdam visiting in-laws and I wobbled on an “Omafiets” all the way from the dock area to the Rijksmuseum. Cycle lanes are really well laid out, and properly separated from the motorised traffic.

Understandable as Zürich only really started to make changes to traffic policy in the mid 1990s whereas bike friendliness has been an integral part of policy in the Netherlands since the 1970s.

Edit: This site has all the cycle lane bloopers in Zurich and elsewhere in Switzerland.

https://bikeable.ch/

Cheers,
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Old 05.09.2020, 11:52
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Re: Cycling in Zurich

Take special care of drivers using their phones and earphones while driving, in Zurich because there are around 3 policemen in the whole city they are like 90% of the drivers.

Also take care of other bikers using headphones, it is pretty common to see people riding their bikes with earphones even with huge noise canceling headphones. Because of Darwinism, the number of them will eventually start decreasing, but at the moment they are a lot, and they are very dangerous, specially the ones riding ebikes because they ride very fast.

Apart from that, compared with many other cities that I have seen, Zurich is a pretty safe city to bike. Hopefully even more safer depending on the results of the next referendum.

Last edited by Pipperlamb; 05.09.2020 at 12:04.
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Old 05.09.2020, 12:25
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Re: Cycling in Zurich

Not to mention drivers who make a right turn at a junction where you are going straight ahead. Especially in winter when it is dark.

The other one is the bike hell Bucheggplatz - if you need to go from Hofwiesenstrasse to Rotelstrasse, you have to cross to to a middle cycle lane on approaching the roundabout, then negotiate the roundabout with traffic on both sides. I did that for a few months in summer of 2017 as I was working in Opfikon for a while. Gave up when it got darker.

Cheers,
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Take special care of drivers using their phones and earphones while driving, in Zurich because there are around 3 policemen in the whole city they are like 90% of the drivers.

Also take care of other bikers using headphones, it is pretty common to see people riding their bikes with earphones even with huge noise canceling headphones. Because of Darwinism, the number of them will eventually start decreasing, but at the moment they are a lot, and they are very dangerous, specially the ones riding ebikes because they ride very fast.

Apart from that, compared with many other cities that I have seen, Zurich is a pretty safe city to bike. Hopefully even more safer depending on the results of the next referendum.
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Old 06.09.2020, 18:29
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Re: Cycling in Zurich

Be aware of electro-cyclists with yellow plates. They can move at up to 45 km/h and aren't allowed on cycle paths. Indeed they are considered in the same category as mofas, which also have the same yellow plates. Unfortunately most yellow-plate electro-cyclists don't understand the rules are a real menace for "normal" cyclists and even more so for pedestrians, with whom they are often supposed to share the space.
On Sundays beware of what I call the Tour de France cyclists who bomb along the cycle tracks at speeds way above what I'm doing and ignore all road signs and all other road users.
Otherwise, if you are a "normal" cyclist, look for routes which avoid main roads. It's much more pleasant and peaceful.
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Old 06.09.2020, 23:33
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Re: Cycling in Zurich

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Also take care of other bikers using headphones, it is pretty common to see people riding their bikes with earphones even with huge noise canceling headphones.
90% of times I drive my bike with my headphones or earphones on and even after police has asked me few times to remove them, never understood why. What is the difference between me wearing headphones vs car driver with radio on and windows closed except I can still hear better/more than him/her. Or what is the difference between me and someone with motorcycle and helmet on except again, me with headphones can still hear more than he/she does?
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Old 07.09.2020, 09:32
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Re: Cycling in Zurich

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. If you use zebra crossings it appears to be a grey area if cars need to give way to you (or maybe it's Zurich drivers!) but they must if you are walking the bike so take your time to see how that works. I would be happy for someone to clarify this.
Riding across a Zebra crossing on a bicycle is technically illegal, and you have no right of way. (ie if a car hits you, you are at fault). You must dismount and walk your bike across, which classes you as a pedestrian (cars must then give way).

Strangely roller blades and trotti-scooters are classed as "toy vehicles" and cars need to give way to them being ridden across zebra crossings.
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Old 07.09.2020, 09:34
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Re: Cycling in Zurich

On wearing headphones while riding a bike: https://www.suva.ch/de-ch/die-suva/n...s-auf-dem-velo.

On e-bikes driving on cycle paths: It is indeed mandatory also for s-pedelecs (i.e. the ones with yellow plates) to use cycling paths were available. If there is a sign prohibiting mofas s-pedelecs are allowed to use the cycling paths with their motor switched off (https://www.astra.admin.ch/dam/astra...%202019%29.pdf)
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Old 07.09.2020, 09:37
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Re: Cycling in Zurich

[QUOTE=catandmouse;3214619]Be aware of electro-cyclists with yellow plates. They can move at up to 45 km/h and aren't allowed on cycle paths. Indeed they are considered in the same category as mofas, which also have the same yellow plates. Unfortunately most yellow-plate electro-cyclists don't understand the rules are a real menace for "normal" cyclists and even more so for pedestrians, with whom they are often supposed to share the space.
On Sundays beware of what I call the Tour de France cyclists who bomb along the cycle tracks at speeds way above what I'm doing and ignore all road signs

Mofas have always been allowed on designated cycle paths/lanes. The faster Ebikes the same.
At the moment it is a learning curve as I have to get used to the increased speed and to the fact that pedestrians and drivers often underestimate my speed. The regulations are only just catching up with the situation.

AFAIK, the the situation is different when it is a shared pedestrian/bicycle path.
Difficult to find the exact regulations but here is a link:
https://www.ch.ch/en/cycling-switzerland/
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Old 07.09.2020, 10:20
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Re: Cycling in Zurich

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On e-bikes driving on cycle paths: It is indeed mandatory also for s-pedelecs (i.e. the ones with yellow plates) to use cycling paths were available. If there is
Does that mean that it is mandatory for normal (non-e-bikes) to use bike paths where available (rather than the road)? Does that also included shared-use paths (pedestrians/bikes)?
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Old 07.09.2020, 10:36
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Re: Cycling in Zurich

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Strangely roller blades and trotti-scooters are classed as "toy vehicles" and cars need to give way to them being ridden across zebra crossings.
Well I had some emergency braking this morning as I nearly hit a child who was coming from the left on a zebra crossing on a kick scooter at what would be an adult running speed. There were cars on the crossing blocking vision, so I'd already slowed to about 30km/h, barely saw a flash of the scooter under a stopped car before the kid shot across the road, I don't think the child noticed at all, oblivious to the fact that they were both hidden from view of oncoming traffic and moving at a speed that means reaction times for drivers are compromised.
As a reminder to people, try and only drive over a crossing if you can clear the crossing by a few meters. I don't know if that is law or not but it should be common sense. Being clear of the crossing by only a scant few centimetres means the crossing is completely occluded from traffic on the other side.
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