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Safer cycling in the city with CitiCAP cycle lanes

A new 2.5-kilometre network of cycle lanes from Lahti Central Station to Laune is expected to be completed towards the end of the year.
One of the biggest improvements in terms of safety is a new bridge on Heikinkatu.

The works began in April and have progressed on schedule throughout the summer. Having started on Apilakatu, the construction crew is now moving towards Lahti Central Station, and paving works have already got underway in Laune. Despite some sections having been completed, diversions remain in place until the entire network is ready.

– The project is now finally on track, and we are hoping to finish by the end of the year. Some of the planting may need to wait until next year”, says Jani Lepistö, CEO of Insinööritoimisto Lepistö, the developer in charge of the project.

Most of the CitiCAP cycle lanes are being built by widening and reconfiguring existing roads. One of the biggest improvements in terms of safety is a new bridge on Heikinkatu.

Experiments enabled by EU funding

The CitiCAP cycle lane project has given the City of Lahti an opportunity to explore new solutions. For example, the entire network will be lit using technology that keeps road markings and traffic signs visible in the dark. The markings will be projected onto the road surface so that they cannot be hidden under snow, for example.

Sophisticated winter maintenance will help to keep the cycle lanes accessible throughout the year. A technique based on snow brushes has been piloted in Lahti in previous years, and a total of 20 kilometres of cycle lanes are due to be brushed this winter.

– The new CitiCAP network will give us a testing platform. It will allow us to try out new techniques and smart solutions, and we are already preparing for these kinds of experiments by installing the necessary cabling, for example”, explains Petri Honkanen, the City of Lahti’s Director of Land Use.

The EU has made a sizeable financial contribution to the cycle lane project (Urban Innovative Action programme). The total budget for the works is approximately EUR 2.3 million.

Works progressing one stretch of road and one solution at a time

The latest obstacle that the engineers must overcome involves a rock cut on Moisionkatu. The cycle lane there may end up being unfortunately narrow if the rock face cannot be drilled.

– Adding cycle lanes to existing infrastructure is always challenging. Costs can easily mount up and a flexible schedule is a must, as not everything can be predicted and planned for”, says the City of Lahti’s Street Manager Mika Lastikka.

The engineers have had to be especially inventive in getting around root systems. The crew has managed to save most of the trees lining the new cycle lane network, but there are two or three columnar aspens that will need to be felled by Shopping Centre Valo. Saplings will be planted to replace the felled trees. Any diseased trees found on the property will also be removed.

– Thankfully, we managed to come to an agreement with the owner of the shopping centre very quickly”, Lastikka says.

The new CitiCAP cycle lane network will be one of the main bike routes in Lahti. These routes provide fast and easy access for cyclists commuting from the suburbs into the city. The CitiCAP network will link to another system of cycle lanes built in connection with the new bypass at its northern end on Apilakatu. Once the CitiCAP network is completed, cyclists and pedestrians will have a safe route from Lahti Central Station all the way to Renkomäki.

The developer of the CitiCAP cycle lane project is Insinööritoimisto Lepistö, and the contractor is Hyvinkään Tieluiska Oy.

Read more about CitiCAP project