Cycling news from Poland

  • Spring 2011: MAJOR CHANGES, MAJOR CHANGES! First, the official Cities for Bicycles website moved to - but no English language version is available yet.

    Second, and more important: Poland has new, more cycle-friendly Highway Code, long campaigned for by the Cities for Bicycles (see column to the right). Voted on April 1st it was signed by Poland's President, mr Bronisław Komorowski, on April, 22nd 2011 and will come into force in mid May. Read more on the new law in English on the new website.

  • [24th August, 2008] Late summer gift for those of you who want to follow the EuroVelo 11 route from Slovakia to Cracow on bikes with trailers, bags and do not know the way. There is a GPS track (gdb format) and brief guide (pdf), available here. No, the EV11 route is not signposted in Poland and it is nothing official - but may be of some help. Feedback is very much welcome!

  • [10th May, 2008] The English language version of this site has not been updated for very, very long time. We apologise for this. The whole Cities for Bicycles site will be revamped in a few months, with a totally new English language part. Now, a brief update on what has been going (or cycling, if you like) on in Poland:

    • For the first time ever, All-Party Cycling Group (APCG) has been formed in the Polish Parliament this year. More than 40 MP's participate, with Ewa Wolak and Łukasz Gibała being the Group chair and co-chair. Cities for Bicycles network has long proposed changes in the Highway Code and other laws to stop discriminating cyclists and to facilitate cycling infrastructure implementation. These changes along with the National Cycling Policy are the top priority for us. After first meetings with the APCG they seem more feasible than ever. The proposed changes are published in the Polish language part of this site for public consultation here.
    • The Gdańsk Cycling Infrastructure Project, for many years the most important activity of Cities for Bicycles, was completed in 2006. The project was funded by the Global Environment Facility. English summary is available at the end of Cycling Gdańsk project pdf book. The city of Gdańsk now continues the cycling infrastructure development with EU funding. 100 kilometres of cycleways are to be built jointly with the cities of Sopot and Gdynia. This is Poland's cycling infrastructure benchmark, with other cities sadly lagging far behind.
    • A number of cities adopted Cycling Infrastructure Design Standards, a measure promoted by Cities for Bicycles to improve the quality of cycling infrastructure. The chief reason for the Design Standards are fundamental lack of expertise on part of road engineers in Poland and legal system that promotes substandard solutions for cyclists. Cities that adopted Standards include Gdańsk, Kraków, Torun and Wrocław but the results are mixed, as the Standards often are not implemented due to bad management.
    • Critical Mass rides gained momentum and now take place in most larger cities across Poland. The largest and oldest is The Warsaw CM, with more than 2,000 cyclist taking part each month and with dedicated non-motorized soundsystem platforms, or bakfietsen.
    • Well, last but not least: the author of this site for two years was involved in production of TV series on cycling. Most of the 66 short Niezla Jazda (A Jolly Good Ride) films on cycling in Poland may be viewed here - in Polish only.

  • [21st September, 2004] In town, without My Car - European Car Free Day campaign in Poland a big success. More than 100 cities across Poland take part in the event  organized under the auspices of Ministry of Environment. However, the remaining 364 days of the year are by far less car-less: Poland seems to be the most dangerous EU country for cyclists and pedestrians. The apparent culprit is Poland's notorious Ministry of Infrastructure poor policies and even worse regulations. Read more.

  • [21st September, 2004] Adam Sztejka, the Bydgoszcz Critical Mass activist died on 9th September after being hit by a drunk driver on August, 27th. Adam was hospitalized in critical condition and never regained consciousness after the accident. All September Critical Mass events in Poland are in memory of Adam.

  • [21st September, 2004] Europeand Cycle Messenger Championships ECMC 2004 took place in Warsaw, Poland, on July 30th - August, 1st. See you in Basel next year!

  • [21st September, 2004] Poland not a safe place for cyclists. Every 10th fatality on Poland's roads is a cyclist. This is about 600 cyclists killed each year, more than in Germany with twice as much population and many more cyclists in streets. Precise data are available for the city of Cracow (750,000 inhabitants): 11.4% of all road accidents victims are cyclists. Between 1999 and 2003 there were more than thousand accidents involving cyclists,  mostly in the downtown area. They resulted in more than seven hundred injured and three fatalities. Cycling is no more than 2-3% of all traffic in Cracow.

  • [21st September]  Holiday break over, here come the news again. The Gdańsk Cycling Infrastructure and Promotion Project was presented at the World Conference on Transport Research in Istanbul, Turkey on 4th-8th July at the panel chaired by professor Ralph Gakenheimer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and attended by Bonizella Biagini (Global Environment Facility), Todd Johnson (World Bank) and Marcin Hyła (Cities for Bicycles, Poland). The presentation can be downloaded here (5 MB .ppt file).

  • [6th June, 2004] Grand Bicycle Ride in Gdańsk. Four thousand cyclists, including Mayor Paweł Adamowicz rode down the streets of Gdańsk and posed for the cycling "family photo". The event, apparently the largest ever in Poland, was a part of the Gdańsk Cycling Infrastructure Project. Pictures will be available soon at website.

  • [24th February, 2004] On The Bicycle Towards Freedom: Bicycle Messengers’ answer for identity crisis, Master Thesis in Social Anthropology by Elżbieta Drążkiewicz, Lund University, Sweden is now available in .pdf format in English here (2 MB) ( external website)

  • [15th February, 2004] The January 2004 Warsaw Critical Mass movie can be downloaded here (Windows Media v.9 format, 22 MB .wmv file). Read more on Critical Mass in Poland here.

  • [4th February, 2004] Towards Carfree Cities IV Conference will take place in Berlin, Germany, 19th through 24th July, 2004. See for details.

  • [2nd February, 2004] European Cycling Messengers Championships 2004 will take place in Warsaw, Poland on July 29th through August 2nd, 2004. Visit the official ECMC 2004 website. You can buy the Warsaw Bicycle Messenger Calendar 2004 to support the event.

  • [28th January, 2004] English version of Cities for Bicycles/ website revamped (or launched, to be frank). Welcome!

  • VeloCity September 2003 Paris conference pictures are online - view them here.

  • Gdańsk Cycling Infrastucture and Promotion Project brings first results. See the new cycleways built in the Wrzeszcz district and read about the project.

  • Cracow has a new Cycling Master Plan and sets the Cycling Task Force to work on cycling policy and fundraise EU money to build its core cycling network. Read more on Cracow the Cycling City website.
CYCLING POLAND - our strategy in brief:
  • To change the Highway Code and eliminate its discrepancy with the Vienna Convention (article 16, paragraph 2) and to improve legal framework for cycling in Poland. Other proposed changes include new traffic signs and legalization of white flashing LED headlights use by cyclists. Download the proposal (currently only Polish version available).
  • To change the law on technical standards for road infrastructure where it refers to cycling. The proposal is based on the Cycling Infrastructure Standards, developed for the city of Cracow. Download the standards (Polish only, English version soon)
  • To develop National Cycling Strategy by the Ministry of Infrastructure and to implement it by the government and local authorities; NCS should include pilot cycling projects in the National Development Strategy for EU structural funds and make provisions for Good Practice  guidances, national touring cycling routes system and cycleway financing as the key issues.
  • At local level: to create Task Forces in all interested communities, to adopt Cycling Infrastructure Standards by local authorities, to implement Bicycle Audit procedures and develop new cycling infrastructure projects, following the Gdansk project model.

Who we are:
You can read more on the Cities for Bicycles Network  here.

You can learn some Polish by reading our books and bulletin in vernacular - click here.