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Promotion of cycling

We want Helsinki to be a pleasant year-round cycling city for people of all ages.

Cycling benefits the entire city

It is important for walking, cycling and public transport to become more popular to ensure that traffic will continue to run smoothly and sustainably in Helsinki as the population increases. By promoting cycling, we also improve public health, protect the environment and improve traffic safety.  

We promote cycling holistically in all of our traffic and city planning. Our aim is to raise the share of trips made by the bicycle to 20 per cent by the year 2035.

Bike path and cyclist in winter.
In Helsinki, you can cycle throughout the year. We develop the winter maintenance of cycle paths by means such as increasing the number of cycling routes covered by intensified winter maintenance. Photo: Suna Junnola

Bicycle Action Plan

In autumn 2020, the City Board approved the Bicycle Action Plan 2020–2025 (pdf, in Finnish). It contains 34 measures for promoting cycling, divided into sub-goals. You can read a summary of them below. Over the coming years, we will focus on making these measures a reality.   

Our goal is to build straight and functional routes and implement clear traffic arrangements at junctions for cyclists. We also want to separate pedestrian paths and bikeways from each other. All of the new bikeways we build are separate from pedestrian paths. We develop existing bikeways by clearly designating separate spaces for pedestrians and cyclists. By doing so, we also promote walking in the city.  

By 2031, our goal is to turn the majority of the bikeways in the inner city into a high-quality cycling network, in line with current planning principles. We also expect that the implementation of the Baana network will be more than halfway completed at that point.  

People are at the core of our work in planning and implementing bikeways. If the built infrastructure is not intuitive, people tend to make mistakes. Taking the actions of people on bicycles into account is key in planning the traffic environment. 

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  • We want to ensure the high-quality maintenance of bikeways and bicycle parking throughout the year. 
  • When it comes to winter maintenance, we utilise a route-specific maintenance method that involves sweeping and salting.
  • We aim to add one new route to the intensified maintenance network every year. 
  • We also want to improve the quality of our winter maintenance on the sections of bikeways not covered by intensified winter maintenance. To realise this goal, we have launched a project for coordinating the planning and maintenance of cycle paths. 
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  • Bicycle traffic is taken equally into account with other vehicles in construction site arrangements. 
  • We have improved temporary traffic arrangements for construction sites and various events by organising training and enhancing supervision and guidelines. 
  • Our objective in developing temporary bicycle traffic arrangements is to give bicycle traffic the same priority as other vehicle traffic in planning and implementing traffic arrangements. 
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  • By taking measures to develop bicycle parking and cycling services, we ensure that the positive trend will continue and that the bicycle parking facilities and other cycling services can meet future demand. 
  • We aim to implement at least 900 new public bicycle parking spaces or facilities in the city every year.  
  • We develop the city bike share system in Helsinki in collaboration with City Transport. The system now covers almost the entire city. In the long term, our goal is to lengthen the period for which city bikes are available for use every year.  
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  • The objective of marketing and communications related to cycling is to foster a positive image of cycling.  
  • We have released a publication called the Bicycle Account in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021. The Bicycle Account provides an account of the trends in bicycle traffic, the opinions of Helsinki residents, bicycle traffic projects and cycling services. 

Bicycle Account 2021 (pdf)

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We have prepared planning guidelines for bicycle traffic that are intended for use by city and traffic planning professionals in their planning work. 

The purpose of the guidelines (which are only available in Finnish) is to make sure that important perspectives related to cycling and walking are taken into account in traffic planning, as they can increase safety and attractiveness, among other things.  

Planning guidelines: pyoraliikenne.fi (in Finnish)

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