On this direction sign at Wixhausen near Darmstadt, Germany, several destinations use a bicycle highway pictogram. Some of the pictograms have a black background, whereas others have a green background. What is the difference in meaning between the pictograms with a black background vs. the pictograms with a green background?

Bike freeway sign

This sign indicates Darmstadt and Arheiligen with a black-background pictogram, Egelsbach and Erzhausen with a green-background pictogram, and Frankfurt and Langen with both.

From context, it might mean green means finished and black means not finished, but I think that's not consistent with signs I've seen elsewhere, and I would find it an unusual meaning for traffic signs, so it'd be interesting to have a confirmation.

I did not find an explanation at this list of traffic signs for cyclists. At this stv2go list bicycle highways aren't mentioned at all.

  • 1
    The Streckenpiktogramme (route) after the city name and the Zielpiktogramme (goal) before the city name are decided by the regional authority. The 2019 Handbuch Radwegweisung in Hessen (PDF) shows no samples that look similar, nor any statement that states that the black or green background have any general/special meaning. Commented May 10, 2021 at 22:23
  • This would be equally on-topic on bicycles.stackexchange.com
    – Criggie
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 6:34
  • From where you are standing right now, the distinction 'complete' (green) and 'planned' (black) does fit very well, but I agree that it is odd and I can also not remember ever having seen other traffic signs used in that sense. Do you have any example on where the signs are used otherwise? Commented May 11, 2021 at 9:41
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Unfortunately I didn't photograph the other signs I passed.
    – gerrit
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


Those are so called "Radschnellweg" (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radschnellweg), which literally means "bicycle highway". The signs that you posted seem to be part of the Radschnellverbindung Darmstadt-Frankfurt (https://www.nahmobil-hessen.de/unterstuetzung/planen-und-bauen/schneller-radfahren/radschnellverbindungen/radschnellweg-darmstadt-frankfurt/).

The green sign is the official StVO sign, i couldn't find anything related to the black sign, but i would assume that this was used before the green one was officially added to the StVO, and is kept for some reason (maybe because some parts of the Radschnellverbindung are not yet up to the standard, where the authorities can add the official green sign, but still want to mark those parts to be part of the overall path). I could find that Hessen distinguish Radschnellverbindung and Raddirektverbindung, where the former has the official green sign and higher prerequisites than the latter one.

  • Yes, this was introduced in April 2020. When the sign is used on the route itsself, the green means it is starting and a greyed, crossed out means the end. Commented May 10, 2021 at 22:41
  • So green is Radschnellverbindung and black is Raddirektverbindung?
    – gerrit
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 14:50
  • I couldn't find any substantial information about this, that's only my assumption (and it seems a bit logical to me, after i looked into the requirements for Radschnellverbindung).
    – dunni
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 14:52
  • This interpretation does not make much sense either. The only section of the Radschnellverbindung/Raddirektverbindung completed is between Wixhausen and Egelsbach. There is no Raddirektverbindung from where you are standing towards Darmstadt, nor beyond Egelsbach towards Frankfurt. Commented May 11, 2021 at 15:55

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