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Old 18.07.2021, 17:45
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Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

I live near the Hönggerberg in Zürich. There are several wanderweg going around and along the hill, which are generally good quality wide gravel and tarmac just wide enough for cars and farm vehicles to use for access.

I noticed recently that a couple of these routes have empty red circle road signs: Name:  D6B57F50-122D-4DFB-AF5A-04DE550A699B.jpeg
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I had always assumed that these mean no vehicles, including no bicycles, as this is what the U.K. Highway Code specifies. However I often see respectable-looking Swiss people (including families and elderly people talking in fluent Swiss German) cycling along this route past the sign. I have also realised, when I went cycling nearby myself, that these signs only point in one direction. You can cycle along the whole route all the way from the road without ever passing a similar sign facing the other way. There are also facilities for cyclists up on the hill (such as places to lock your bicycle and mountain-biking trails), and I can’t imagine people are pushing their bikes by hand for miles through the forest to reach them. I’m wondering therefore whether I am interpreting these signs too strictly, and that perhaps they have a different meaning in Switzerland: such as simply that cyclists must give way to pedestrians.

When one of the routes was resurfaced (red circle sign going upwards but not downwards) there was even a sign asking people not to cycle there for one month whilst the road surface settled, which would presumably not be needed if cycling was banned.

At any rate, they are presumably not enforceable if they are only at one end of the route.

Can anyone who knows more about Swiss signs help me figure out whether you’re allowed to cycle there or not? (I’m hoping the answer is yes, as it would be a great way to cycle to work)
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Old 18.07.2021, 18:18
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

No motorised traffic, all good for cyclists
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Old 18.07.2021, 18:25
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

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No motorised traffic, all good for cyclists
No, that signal indicates no vehicle is allowed to drive there. Bikes and e-bikes are allowed to be pushed.

Of course, rules don't apply to cyclists here in Switzerland.
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Old 18.07.2021, 18:27
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

Oh shit, I just checked this. No bicycles! and I have ben ignoring these signs for
years
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Old 18.07.2021, 18:32
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

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No, that signal indicates no vehicle is allowed to drive there. Bikes and e-bikes are allowed to be pushed.
Or in this specific case, that bikes can be ridden west along the route, but not east

If anyone else is familiar with the area, the signs are at one end of the Sonnenbergweg but not the other
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Old 18.07.2021, 19:09
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

Oh shit, I just checked this. No bicycles! and I have ben ignoring these signs for
years
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Old 18.07.2021, 21:06
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

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No motorised traffic, all good for cyclists
With exceptions.

We have such a road to our rustico, we have the right to use it with any vehicles we wish to use.

Tom
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Old 18.07.2021, 22:20
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

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Or in this specific case, that bikes can be ridden west along the route, but not east

If anyone else is familiar with the area, the signs are at one end of the Sonnenbergweg but not the other
Does the end without the sign join a normal road?

I know in some pedestrian areas in Germany bikes are allowed but only if they go at walking pace (schritttempo) so maybe a similar 'tolerance' is given in Switzerland i.e. no speed record attempts.
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Old 18.07.2021, 23:17
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

beansprouts, can you link a map?
There doesn't seem to be a Sonnenbergweg in the Höngg/Fluntern/Zoo area, only SonnenbergStrasse. A "Strasse" is usually open for vehicles (though restrictions may apply).
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With exceptions.

We have such a road to our rustico, we have the right to use it with any vehicles we wish to use.

Tom
You probably have a "Zubringerdienst gestattet" sign, an excemption for those living there, or an equivalent right.

No idea what that term is in Italian, deepl says it's "servizio di alimentazione consentito" but that sounds like it's about edibles only, which would be false.
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Old 18.07.2021, 23:21
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

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You probably have a "Zubringerdienst gestattet" sign, an exception for those living there, or an equivalent right.

No idea what that term is in Italian, deepl says it's "servizio di alimentazione consentito" but that sounds like edibles.
Nope, just a circle.

The road is a forest road.

And it is written in our deed that we have permenent right of use, confirmed by our lawyer, and the commune.

Tom
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Old 19.07.2021, 07:17
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

Very often you will see that sign and below it, there will be another sign that states “Ausgenommen” with a picture of a bicycle - which means you can cycle there.
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Old 19.07.2021, 07:53
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

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Oh shit, I just checked this. No bicycles! and I have ben ignoring these signs for
years
You mean you never got an angry remark from respectable-looking elderly Swiss people when you did that? You are either lucky or are riding too fast.
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Old 19.07.2021, 09:06
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

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You mean you never got an angry remark from respectable-looking elderly Swiss people when you did that? You are either lucky or are riding too fast.
I get those looks all the time even on paths where I am allowed to ride ... many bad cyclists ruin it for the rest of us & many pedestrians think they own the combined paths.
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Old 19.07.2021, 11:38
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

The law for this is here: https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/1...1961/de#art_18 (unfortunately no English version)

The signals “General driving ban in both directions” and “No entry” do not apply to handcarts with a maximum width of 1 m, prams, wheelchairs, pushed bicycles, and motorcycles and two-wheeled motorcycles that are pushed when the engine is switched off.
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Old 19.07.2021, 15:19
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

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Of course, rules don't apply to cyclists here in Switzerland.
I am actually very happy that those not able to follow rules are cycling instead of driving a car. Much less dangerous streets, still dangerous, but way less. And more parking spots available.
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Old 19.07.2021, 18:38
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

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beansprouts, can you link a map?
There doesn't seem to be a Sonnenbergweg in the Höngg/Fluntern/Zoo area, only SonnenbergStrasse. A "Strasse" is usually open for vehicles (though restrictions may apply).
Sorry, I made a mistake with the name. You are right it is sonnenbergstasse. Attached is a map with red circles I dictating where the signs are. They are each single-sided and visible only for people going up the hill, with no equivalent signs at the other ends of each of the routes.

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The sign on the main route has another sign underneath allowing access to the Sonnenberg (the farm and holiday place) but no sign for cyclists. I’m happy to accept that the sign means no cyclists, but the question then is exactly which part of the road is covered by the prohibition. If you went up the hill another way and cycled down, you would never know the sign exists. I wonder if I could just ask at the Gemeindehaus.
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Old 19.07.2021, 20:55
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

maybe you can cycle backwards uphill
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Old 19.07.2021, 21:47
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

I was always taught that the red empty circle means NO vehicles are allowed. The case in point was once proven when police stopped the cyclist in front of me (pushed yes but not ridden).
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Old 20.07.2021, 00:26
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Re: Meaning of empty red circle road sign on wanderweg. Are cyclists allowed?

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Can anyone who knows more about Swiss signs help me figure out whether you’re allowed to cycle there or not? (I’m hoping the answer is yes, as it would be a great way to cycle to work)
So, to recap: Your entire initial post (the assumptions therein) is correct. Red circle on white ground means "all vehicles forbidden", though excemptions may apply, e.g. indicated with the addition "Zubringerdienst gestattet" (feeder services permitted), as in your example, also at the north end of Ankenhofstrasse.

However, Regensdorf on the other side of the forest is a different commune, and appears to apply different regulations. They seem to sign, either, "cars and motorbikes forbidden" or "all motorised vehicles forbidden" (see here), neither bans bicycles.

So yes, it looks like at least some of those bicycles are (or could be) lawfully on "your" road. Which begs the question why you shouldn't mimick them, and either actually enter from the other side, or pretend that you did and shoulder the fine if the police doesn't believe you. Though from your description it doesn't look like the vehicle ban isn't enforced. Given the likely value of the properties in the area, they may decide that it's not worth the trouble.

Yes, of course you could ask at the Gemeindehaus. Personally, I'd start with a local or two, they should also know the actual practice.
 




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