According to index.hu, Budapest is kind of a sport capital. The city will be the home of the World Aquatic Championships, it bids for the Olympic Games, stadiums grow out of the ground, you can go kayaking and canoeing on the Danube and take part in several running competitions around it. But what’s the situation with the fans of the second most popular mass sport, cycling? They are like unwanted children in the city. But this can change soon.
There are already bicycle lanes and tracks in the city, but those are not really suitable for doing sports. The Millenáris is going to be rebuilt, but, presumably, there won’t be space for neither hobby cyclists, nor roadside racers.
There’s effectively no place where you can cycle without obstacles. The asphalt of the Margaret Island is not really smooth, there are many pedestrians, and the swimming pool is under construction. Individual cyclists usually take on the Zichy Mihály Road – City Park – Olof Palme Walk triangle, where they have to make their way through parking lots, trolley buses and illegal car tricksters (the road-conditions are actually also not the best here for cycling, only with the best-built off-road bikes – DN), and the place is frequently closed because of a running event.
Cyclists couldn’t organise a competition there due to the factors mentioned above, they just made do with the place. Until now, because due to the constructions, only a tiny lane was left for cyclists and nobody knows what the future holds for them.
Meanwhile, there’s an excellent and obvious solution, which has been a bit neglected in recent years. It is the Népliget, and cyclist champion Károly Eisenkrammer has already worked out a plan for the utilisation of the space. The 3D animation of the plans is quite cool.
The BringaPark Népliget (CyclingPark Népliget) project would offer the following functions:
- A two-kilometre-long asphalt circle closed off from street-traffic, lighted up at night for recreation goals (hobby cyclists, children, roller-skaters) in the northern part of the park.
- A three-kilometre-long asphalt circle closed off from street-traffic, lighted up at night for sporting goals (cycling trainings and competitions) in the southern part of the park.
- A park for the rules of the road, a road safety education course and Bringa Academy education centre.
- BMX and mountain bike dune course (for hobby cyclists and children).
- Cycling trial course.
- Field training course for beginner and kid mountain bikers.
- BMX and roller-skate park for skateboarders as well.
Besides toilets, dressing rooms and water drinking opportunities, there would also be a bicycle service station and a bicycle rental. The plans wouldn’t hinder in with the current functions of Népliget, for instance, the institutions could be approached by car, in fact, there would be a separate parking lot for those visiting the Planetarium.
The designers also plan on separating the official traffic lane from the sport lane so that hobby cyclists and sport cyclists wouldn’t get into arguments. Similarly, buses and trolley buses wouldn’t endanger cyclists.
The BringaPark would cost about 190 million forints. The elements of the project can be executed irrespectively of each other, even though it would be best to serve all branches of the sport. The estimated length of the execution is 8-12 months. If it was to happen, the capital city would redeem a serious debt for cyclists.
Photo: Vuelta Sportiroda
Copy editor: bm