Quick and cheap in the wider city centre
Probably the most efficient way to discover Ljubljana is by bicycle as it is flat and compact enough to go on a quick tour all of its most beautiful places by pushing pedals. In addition to numerous infrastructural improvements and other measures, the immensely popular bicycle-rental system BicikeLJ has also contributed to the rise in cycling in the city. Due to improvements made in the area of cycling, it is the first time Ljubljana made it onto the list of 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet, ranked at the high 13th place.
Bicycle rental system BicikeLJ
In May 2011, in public-private partnership with the company Europlakat, Ljubljana introduced the city bike in the self-service rental system BicikeLJ with 31 stations and 300 bicycles. By the end of 2016 the system included 38 stations and 380 bicycles and it recorded 3.8 million rides by its users. The first half hour of use is free which contributed to the rising popularity of the system and with it the increase in the cycling share. At the beginning of 2017 the network expanded to include additional 13 stations, and by the end of the year 6 more stations are planned to be set up. The bicycles in the system can be rented upon prior registration using the uniform city card Urbana.
The Ljubljana Bicycle is a bicycle rental project for tourists and other visitors to Ljubljana offered by the public institute Ljubljana Tourism. Riding a bicycle is a pleasant way to explore Ljubljana and to relax to the heartbeat of the city. Bicycles are available at a low price and at the time of rental you can get plenty of tourist information about the city.
Thematic cycling paths
The thematic cycling paths were designed, in cooperation with the City of Ljubljana, by the association For a City on Two (Za mesto po dveh) within the framework of the Do the Right Mix campaign, and Ljubljana Tourism also made its contribution by providing path markings. The aim of thematic cycling paths is to set up attractive cycling paths between different parts of Ljubljana on less congested streets for daily journeys made by bicycles. And at the same time these paths represent an extension of what Ljubljana has to offer to its visitors who can go on a bike-ride to experience Plečnik’s architecture, the beauty of the Ljubljanica River or the green wedges of the city.
In 2014 the Waterside Path was marked, first of the four thematic cycling paths. It winds alongside Ljubljanica and intertwines urban environment with nature. It runs from the Fužine Castle on the embankments of Ljubljanica through Štepanjsko naselje and Kodeljevo districts, through the city centre (Petkovšek Embankment, Prešern Square, Congress Square and New Square) and ends at the Špica embankment. In 2015 the idea expanded to include the Plečnik Path, which connects Plečnik’s heritage in Trnovo, Žale and Tivoli, and the Forest Path around the foot of Rožnik Hill connecting Tivoli Park with Mostec Park. The fourth path, which has been popular among cyclist for a long time, is the gravel path around Ljubljana, lined with trees, namely, the Path of Remembrance and Comradeship.
Bike boxes are being introduced in line with the guidelines of the Transport Policy of the City of Ljubljana enabling cyclists to move in front of motor vehicles at intersections. The bike box increases cyclists’ safety as it alleviates a critical point, that is, the danger from vehicles turning right at an intersection. In 2014 and 2015 two additional bike boxes were added to the two existing ones. Bike boxes are marked at the following intersections: Miklošič Street – Tavčar Street, Miklošič Street –Dalmatin Street, Krakovo Embankment – Zois Street, Rozman Street – Illyrian Street.
Bicycle parks, service stations and an information point
A bicycle service station for minor bicycle repairs and inflating tires is set up in front of the Tourism Ljubljana information point in Krek Square. Also last year a similar station was set up next to the bicycle park KoloPark in the Šiška.
The bicycle park KoloPark transformed a brownfield site into a recreational area for play and developing skills using different vehicles from bicycles, kick scooters, rollerblades and rollerskates to push cars. Last year the first construction phase of the Bike Park Ljubljana was concluded and now the new part of the park is open next to the final stop of the number 5 city bus at the end of the Podutik. A dirt road connects both parts of the park and in the third phase a singletrack is planned to be set up between the two sites, as well as numerous additional trails.
In cooperation with the cycling association Rajd the information point of the European Green Capital 2016, which was located in front of the City Hall, has been moved to Podutik to be used for the operation of the Bike Park Ljubljana. It will also serve as a point of departure for road and mountain bikers in the area of the Polhov Gradec Hills.
Ljubljana has approximately 230 kilometres of well-maintained cycling paths. Cycling is also allowed in the opposite direction of traffic on select one-way streets, namely, over 70 of them. Cyclists can also ride in the pedestrian zone in the city centre where they have to give the right of way to the pedestrians and should not put them in danger when riding a bicycle. We are continuously updating and expanding the cycling infrastructure during repair works as well as when constructing new roads and renovating public spaces. As we are aware that monitoring progress is of key importance for planning further measures to improve conditions for cyclists, we have published the Cycling Yearbook of the City of Ljubljana 2012-2013 and the Cycling Yearbook of the City of Ljubljana 2014-2015 which cover the most important achievements, projects, statistical data and findings with regard to cycling in the City of Ljubljana in the set period. Due to improvements made in the area of cycling, it is the first time Ljubljana made it onto the list of 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet (Copenhagenize Index 2015), ranked at the high 13th place.