The project was born in 2010 when a cultural event caused the closure of the road that connects the towns of Duisburg and Dortmund. More than three million people then began to use it to get around on foot, by bicycle and on skates. The idea convinced the authorities, who declared the closure permanent. Subsequently, in 2015, the first five-kilometre section between Mülheim an der Ruhr and Essen was opened. Cycle highways are being replicated in several European countries.