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Old 11.11.2019, 15:08
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Swiss Cycling Rules & Guidance in English?

Hello,

Can anyone point me to a guide or rules of the road for cycling around Zurich city in English?

The whole culture around cycling in the city is completely different than my free-for-all home country... many more rules.

I will think I am behaving myself, being a good courteous citizen, following the cucling allowed signs and then this hazy feeling descends on me that Iím unwittingly breaking some rule and not quite where Iím supposed to be,unbeknownst to me. ( A common feeling for expats in CH)

With the advent of publibikes in ZH, I think there is a wave of newcomers to Zurich cycling hopping on bikes who havenít been cycling much around the city in the past.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 11.11.2019, 15:16
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Re: Swiss Cycling Rules & Guidance in English?

I think you can go far just on common sense alone - don't ride on the pavement, don't jump the traffic lights, don't cut up other vehicles, etc.

Take reasonable safety precautions; decent lights, helmet, bright clothing, etc.

Although, having said all that, a fair % of cyclists ride like morons here with no regard for either their own safety or those around them, so keep your eyes peeled and your wits about you.

I was once roared at by a very angry chap on two wheels because I stopped at a red light and he clearly wanted to cycle on through and I got in his way.
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Old 11.11.2019, 16:57
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Re: Swiss Cycling Rules & Guidance in English?

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I think you can go far just on common sense alone - don't ride on the pavement,
Don't ride on the pavement? Where the heck did you come up with that rule?
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Old 11.11.2019, 17:07
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Re: Swiss Cycling Rules & Guidance in English?

Not all cyclists break the rules.

When living in the U.K, I was waiting at a red light with my Swiss wife. We were on our bikes.

Three lads came went straight through the red light without stopping. My wife shouted at them in English and they were quite rude to her in Swiss-German back.

We soon caught up with them and my wife, to their astonishment, she gave them a verbal-bollocking in schweizerdeutsch!
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Old 11.11.2019, 18:37
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Re: Swiss Cycling Rules & Guidance in English?

I try to be courteous around pedestrians because I hate how cyclists come too close and fast in ZH when Iím a pedestrian.

However, on the flip side, it seems annoying the number of paths that are marked for cyclists, then a short stretch the bikes are forbidden, and you are officially made to go in some obscure convoluted, traffic congested way around, only to then rejoin the same path just a very short length later.

I once asked a bicycle courier ďI want to go just from here to just right there (pointing as short distance visible ahead). If I am following the rules of where bikes are allowed, do I have to go all the way around this convoluted many-stop-light-take-forever-circuitous way, rather than just going from straight here to there?Ē. He confirmed technically yes.

Assuming you arenít mowing down pedestrians or causing cars and trams difficulty, how much do the police and everyone else care where cyclists ride or expect them to always only be on a marked bicycle path?
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Old 11.11.2019, 19:04
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Re: Swiss Cycling Rules & Guidance in English?

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If I am following the rules of where bikes are allowed, do I have to go all the way around this convoluted many-stop-light-take-forever-circuitous way, rather than just going from straight here to there?”. He confirmed technically yes.
Schmiede Wiedikon?

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expect them to always only be on a marked bicycle path?
No. If there is one you have to use it. If there is none it is still perfectly fine to ride on the road (exceptions given in above post).

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how much do the police and everyone else care where cyclists ride
Me as a pedestrian: DO NOT RIDE ON THE PAVEMENT. Use the effing road where you belong.
Me as a bus or tram user: DO NOT MAKE MY BUS/TRAM RUN LATE. Get off the track/bus lane, I have to catch a train.
Me as a car drive: DO NOT MAKE ME HIT THE BRAKES. I hate to nibble out bone splinters from the radiator and wash down brain splatters from the windshield.
Me as motorbike rider: DO NOT MAKE ME HIT THE BRAKES. If we crash I might fall too and that will hurt.
Me as a fellow cyclist: DO NOT CRASH INTO ME OR CURSE ME. I am just following the effing rules you moron.
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Old 11.11.2019, 15:34
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Re: Swiss Cycling Rules & Guidance in English?

The rules in the city of Zurich are simply:
Cars and pedestrians are a nuisance, traffic lights a mere suggestions. Lights, reflectors are for grannies and small kids only.

Or.

Keep to the right except in roundabouts where you should drive in the middle of the lane. Use cycle lanes and paths, do not use the autobahn or autostrasse (roads with green signs), otherwise act like you are in a car or on a motorbike. Like, do not drive on the side walk and stop at red traffic lights, let pedestrian cross a zebra crossings. Unlike a motorbike, you are allowed to skip the line and pass on the right up to the fron of the traffic light. Instead of indicators use your right and left arm to indicate turns and lane changes. Turn on the lights from dusk till dawn.

Be aware that the tram has priority unless it comes from a minor road into a main road. Be careful as your life depends on it. Also be aware of tram tracks. If you fall you might get seriously hurt, people laugh their asses off, and the police might even fine you for "improper control of the vehicle" Art. 32 SVG the catch me all clause of the law.

Signs which forbid cycling:

You are allowed to push unless pedestrians are also not allowed. The one on the top right is a bus lane. Keep off it unless explicitly allowed. Same goes for footpaths.

Signs which allow cycling:

You must use a cycle lane or cycle path going in your direction of travel.

https://www.tcs.ch/de/testberichte-r...elo-fahren.php
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Old 11.11.2019, 15:48
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Re: Swiss Cycling Rules & Guidance in English?

Genuine question ..
Are cycle lane traffic lights actually enforcable / do they mean anything or are they just nice to have?

Geneve - Quai Gustave-Ador ..
It's a big long two way bike lane that runs from the Jardin Anglais pretty much right out of town and towards France. There are traffic lights with bike symbol on them at various crossing points. They allow pedestrians to cross etc.. They are not the same lights as for the cars on the road beside but they do change at the same time.

Literally nobody take any notice of these lights, they are completely ignored..
I know that 87.4% of cyclists ignore general red traffic lights but are the bike only lights even meaningful at all?
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Old 11.11.2019, 16:01
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Re: Swiss Cycling Rules & Guidance in English?

A cycle lane is part of the road itself. The big lights alone are good enough and apply to the cycle lane as well.
A cycle path on the other hand is separated from the road and the lights of the main road do not apply.

Traffic lights with a cycle symbol specifically apply to cyclists. They might allow a head start for the cyclists. If used on a cycle path they apply to the cyclist using the path.

See Art. 70 OSR https://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classifi...index.html#a70
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Old 11.11.2019, 16:08
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Re: Swiss Cycling Rules & Guidance in English?

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A cycle lane is part of the road itself. The big lights alone are good enough and apply to the cycle lane as well.

Traffic lights with a cycle symbol specifically apply to cyclists. They might allow a head start for the cyclists.

See Art. 70 OSR https://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classifi...index.html#a70
The one I mention is not part of the road though.. It's actually a two way cycle only "road" .. Beside the actual road. (Unfortunately the good maps data is too old, doesn't show it) Each has it's own traffic lights.

The proper road has big normal traffic lights, the cycle road has it's own little traffic lights.
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Old 11.11.2019, 16:11
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Re: Swiss Cycling Rules & Guidance in English?

no signs or lights are intended for cyclists and they always have right of way regardless, they can ride wherever they like, whenever they like and abandon their bikes anywhere.

that seems to be the law in zurich (and every other swiss town)
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Old 11.11.2019, 16:15
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Re: Swiss Cycling Rules & Guidance in English?

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The one I mention is not part of the road though.. It's actually a two way cycle only "road" .
So, a cycle path. I have updated the answer. And yes traffic lights with a cycle symbol apply to cyclist and must be observed. Be aware about the very harsh fines which could lead to bankruptcy: CHF 60 It is item 615.1 on the price list https://www.admin.ch/opc/fr/classifi...ndex.html#app1
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